A pioneer in residential real estate, Fiola Blum founded a thriving company that bears her name in an era when few women were successful real estate entrepreneurs. Born in Baltimore in 1911, Fiola married her husband, Jimmy, in 1930. After moving with their two sons, James, Jr. and Harry, into a custombuilt home in Northwest Baltimore, she started her professional life as a "kitchen broker." She worked for several real estate agencies before going into business with her husband in 1949. Fiola learned about real estate on the job and rose to high levels on the Baltimore Board of Realtors and the Multiple Listing Board, where she was the only woman and the only Jew. She and her husband were among the first tenants to buy into Eleven Slade, the first high rise condominium in the Pikesville area. Mrs. Blum died April 6, 2005.
Weaving Women's Words: Baltimore Stories honors the lives of thirty Jewish women who lived in Baltimore among family and friends. Each has a story to tell.
Born early in the twentieth century, our narrators lived through decades of political, social and economic upheaval, as well as dramatic changes in expectations for women and Jews. Doctors and lawyers, homemakers and saleswomen, our narrators reflect the astonishing diversity that characterized the lives of this pivotal generation of Jewish women.
Over a period of two years, the Jewish Women's Archive captured their memories through oral history interviews as part of a national initiative to preserve the stories of American Jewish women. We explored their worlds through the women's own words, intimate photographic portraits, and vibrant works of interpretive art. The resulting exhibition was on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland from March 2004–January 2005.
We invite you to share the stories of a dynamic generation of Jewish women, whose stories have too often been missing from the pages of our communal experience. These are new histories, histories capable of renewing us.
To find out more, and to see the web exhibit based on this project, please visit http://jwa.org/exhibits/baltimore/.
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