Annie & Bernard Schneider
Russian immigrant Morris Schneider lived with his wife, Fannie, and his children, Lena, Bernard, and Annie, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked as a barber. In 1914, following Fannie’s death, Morris admitted ten-year-old Bernard and eight-year-old Annie to the Home, keeping Lena at home. Annie later recalled that she and her brother traveled to New Orleans by train, unaccompanied.
Fannie Schneider with her children, Lena (at left), Bernard, and Annie, c. 1910. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Hirschhorn, Annie’s daughter.
Morris Schneider with his children, Bernard, Lena, and Annie, c. 1912. Courtesy of Marilyn Pilsk Hirschhorn, Annie’s daughter.
Bernard lived in the Home until 1918, when he returned to his father in Nashville, where he later worked as a printer. Annie remained in the Home until her 1924 graduation from Isidore Newman Manual Training School, where she took leadership roles in student government, drama, glee club, and a range of sports. “Everybody loves her,” wrote Annie’s classmates in the senior yearbook.
Annie Schneider, 1924 Newman Pioneer.
Annie Schneider, second from right, with “Manual” classmates, 1924. Also pictured, third from right, is fellow Home girl Libby Berkowitz. From Annie Schneider’s scrapbook, courtesy JCRS.
Annie kept a scrapbook filled with photos from her time in the Home. As reflected by the following images of six pages from her scrapbook, Annie did not identify most individuals in the photos. She did, however, identify herself, her close friend Louise Volmer (the superintendent’s daughter), and several key Home staff members, including Superintendent Volmer, Assistant Superintendent Harry Ginsburg (who later became superintendent), Supervisor William F. Rosenblum (who later served for three decades as rabbi of New York’s Temple Israel), and Nurse Cecile Holleman. Annie also dedicated several scrapbook pages to her confirmation and her time at the Home’s summer camp in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. images
After high school, Annie returned to Nashville to attend Peabody Teacher’s College, today part of Vanderbilt University. She married Abe Pilsk, who founded Pilsk Furniture Company, and had two children. Annie kept in touch with fellow Home alumnus Murdock Mendelsohn, who also settled in Nashville. Ann Schneider Pilsk died in 1994 at age 88.
Ann Schneider Pilsk, second from right, with her daughter, Marilyn, husband, Abe, and son, Berle, undated. Courtesy of Ann’s daughter, Marilyn Pilsk Hirschhorn.
Marilyn Pilsk Hirschhorn holding photos of her mother, Ann Schneider Pilsk, Cincinnati, 2016. Author’s photo.
In Her Own Words
In 1983, Ann Schneider Pilsk participated in the Jewish Children’s Home alumni project. She was interviewed by JCRS board member and fellow Nashville resident Molly Slabosky. Read Molly’s summary of Ann’s interview here.