Beulah Blondheim

aNative Virginian Solomon Blondheim and his wife, the former Gussie Brash of Florida, ran a restaurant on Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They had one child, Beulah, who was born in 1911. Three years later, Gussie died. On the recommendation of the Tuscaloosa B’nai B’rith Lodge, the Home’s board granted Solomon’s petition to admit Beulah to the Home. In 1916, while Beulah was living in the Home, Solomon died.

“So I loved the Home, and that was all I knew,” declared Beulah, more than a half century after living there. She enjoyed attending Newman School, to which she reported “the richest people” paid to send their children. Unlike most Home children, Beulah had well-to-do relatives in the city who took an active interest in her. “They sent their seamstress up to the Home and made my little dresses.” Although Beulah’s Home peers apparently noticed her wardrobe, playfully likening her to “Modish Mitzie,” a cartoon fashionista of the 1920s, they did not seem rankled by the special attention she received; as reported in the Home’s 1927 Golden City Messenger, they voted Beulah “the most popular” and “most attractive” girl.

Beulah Blondheim on right with Edith Weinberg, c. 1925

Beulah Blondheim, on right, rehearsing for school play with fellow Home resident Edith Weinberg, c. 1924. Photo courtesy of Beulah’s son, Charles Harvith, who received it and others on this page from Home alumnus Ralph Beerman in 1986. In his letter to Charles Harvith, Beerman wrote that he received the  photos from Home alumna Bessie Weinberg, who got them from an album that belonged to her sister, Edith.

Beulah Blondheim, on right, with Edith Weinberg

Beulah, on right, with fellow Home resident, Edith Weinberg, c. 1920.

Beulah Blondheim on right with friends in the Home

Beulah, standing at far right, with fellow Home girls, including Bessie Margolin, standing at far left, at summer camp, c. 1924.

Beulah Blondheim on right with friends in the Home

Beulah, at far right, with Bessie Margolin (standing with bowed legs to immediate left of Bella) and other Home girls, c. 1924.

After graduating from Newman in 1929, Beulah moved to New York to live with her maternal uncle, Edward Brash, an arrangement that lasted only briefly. Beulah later moved to  Washington, D.C. where she attended business school and — after a two year stint in Brazil — got a job as a secretary with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. There, she met Arthur Harvith, a Harvard-trained lawyer with the RFC, whom she married in 1946. They raised two sons, Stephen and Charles.

Beulah died in 2001 at age 89 and was buried in Alexandria, Virginia.


Beulah Blondheim, Newman Pioneer, 1929

Beulah Blondheim’s senior yearbook entry in the Newman Pioneer, 1929.

In Her Own Words

In 1994, at age 83, Beulah Blondheim Harvith reminisced about her life. In this brief excerpt of the recorded interview, Beulah recalls Home Superintendent “Uncle Harry” Ginsburg, the Isidore Newman Manual Training School, and her reluctance to leave the Home, where she had lived for the prior fifteen years. Courtesy of Charles Harvith.