Zelda Director Zeidman (1921-2010)

Zelda Zeidman was born on July 15, 1921 in Portland, Oregon. Her father, Nathan Director was born in Chartorysk, Russia, the same village that the Schnitzers and the Rosenfelds came from. He met Zelda’s mother Annie Shapiro Director in Lodz, Poland, where he had fled from Chartorysk due to his involvement in the Jewish underground movement that was helping Jewish men flee persecution by the Tzar’s army. Nathan escaped with Shika Schnitzer and made his way to Portland in 1909. Annie followed a year later. Zelda was the third of three sisters born to the couple. Preceding her were Estelle (Sholkoff b. 1911) and May (Georges Berenson b. 1917).

The Director family was a very active part of the Jewish community in early 20th century Portland. Nathan worked as a peddler, and later opened his own store on First Avenue. Annie was very active in Hadassah and other Jewish clubs. They were active members of Congregation Shaarie Torah, later joining Congregation Beth Israel as well. 

Zelda grew up in South Portland, attending Shattuck School and Lincoln High School. She went to college at the University of Washington, coming home in the summers to work for her father or for her brother-in-law, Henry Sholkoff, at the Portland Outdoor Store. She met her husband, Jerry Zeidman, at the University of Washington. They married in 1946 and settled in Seattle, where they raised three children: Larry, Barbara and Kenny. When Jerry became ill they returned to Portland. In 1953, they opened a new store, Eastgate Apparel, an outlet store for merchandise from Nathan’s retail stores. Zelda worked as a buyer for the store. They closed the store in 1963 and opened a similar store, Jerry’s, in 1965.

Zelda died on February 25, 2010.

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