Estelle Director Sholkoff (1911-2000)

Estelle Director Sholkoff was born in 1911 in a South Portland. Her parents, Anne Shapiro Director from Lodz, Poland and Nathan Director from Charterisk, Russia had immigrated in 1909, joining Nathan’s older brother Sam, who had arrived in 1905. Anne and Nathan played an important role in building the early Jewish Communal life in Portland. Their life long legacy of volunteering and philanthropy carried through to the next generation. Anne was a charter member of Hadassah and Nathan was a founder and 50-year member in the Hebrew Benevolent Society. Estelle had two sisters: Mae Berenson Georges (b. 1916) and Zelda Zeidman (b. 1921). 

With the success of Nathan’s clothing business, the family moved several times. Estelle graduated from Shattuck School and Lincoln High School in 1927. She attended Reed College for two years, transferring to the University of Washington where she earned a teaching degree in 1931. In 1933 she married Henry Sholkoff who owned a clothing store and she worked with him in that store and later in a dry goods store that they owned in southeast Portland. The couple had two children: Stephen (b. 1938) and Karen Sue DuBrow (b. 1943). 

Estelle held offices in local, regional and national Hadassah, becoming one of their touring National Leadership Trainers. From 1950 to 1965 she was a principal and teacher at the Beth Israel Sunday School, and from 1973 to 1976 a member at large for the National Board of Temple Sisterhoods. She was also on the board of the Jewish Community Center.

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