Gladys Loewenberg Trachtenberg (1910-1993)

Gladys “Laddie” Trachtenberg was born on October 30, 1910 to Joseph Goodman and Rose Loewenberg Goodman. She was the granddaughter of Julius Loewenberg, one of the early members of Temple Beth Israel, and the niece of Ida and Zerlina Loewenberg, both long-time supporters and employees of the Neighborhood House in Portland. Both sides of her family had already been in the United States for several generations when she was born, beginning in San Francisco and then moving to Oregon (the Loewnbergs in 1849 and the Goodmans in 1875)

Laddie attended St. Helens Hall and then spent the last two years of high school at Allen Preparatory School. She attended Mills College for one year from 1928 to 1929 and graduated from Oregon State University (OSU) in 1934 with a degree in dietetics. After graduating from OSU she attended Western Reserve University in Cleveland to work on a Master’s in applied social science (social work). She left Western Reserve University after the bombing at Pearl Harbor and moved back to Portland to work at the Neighborhood House where he stayed until 1945 when she married.

In 1930, Laddie met her future husband, Isaac (Irv) Trachtenberg, at OSU but she was not ready to marry, so he married Marge Schwartz in 1933. Irv enlisted in the army during the Second World War. His first wife died in 1945 and in 1946 Irv and Laddie married. She adopted the two children from his first marriage and she and Irv had two children of their own. 

The couple were very involved with Congregation Beth Israel. And after her children began school, Laddie began working at Dammasch State Hospital until 1972 and later served as president of the Jewish Historical Society of Oregon (JHSO). 

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