Jennie, Dora, & Rosalee Gordon

Nathan and Yetta Nobedrick immigrated from Chodorkov, Russia with their young daughters Jennie (Czerne), Dora (Dobe), and Rosalee (Marie) in 1900. Unable or unwilling to pronounce the surname, immigration officials gave the family the name Gordon, which the girls later officially adopted when they became U.S. citizens. After arriving through Galveston, they made their home in Dallas, Texas, where Nathan worked as a carpenter. He died in 1912 from injuries sustained in a street car accident.

Yetta, a hairdresser, did not earn enough money to support her family alone. The next year, with the help of the Dallas B’nai B’rith Lodge, Yetta admitted her daughters to the Home and then relocated to New Orleans to be near them. 

By 1927, all three girls returned to live with their mother. Before then, although all three girls had started their education at Isidore Newman School, the school’s academic rigor and Jennie’s penchant for sewing prompted the board to transfer her to Nicholls Industrial School for Girls. Dora, who won typewriting awards while at Newman, earned her shorthand certificate from Soule Business College. Although she had returned to her mother before graduating high school, the board permitted Rosalee to continue her education at Isidore Newman School, from which she graduated in 1929. 

Rosalee Gordon, 1929

Rosalee Gordon, senior photo, 1929, Isidore Newman School Pioneer. For her quote, Rosalee chose, “Principle is ever my motto, not expediency.”

Jennie started out as a salesperson at Gus Mayer Department Store, but later got a job with Greyhound when the company began hiring women to take the place of men drafted for the First World War. She remained with the company until she retired in 1969. Jennie, who did not marry, was a member of Touro Synagogue and Hadassah. She died in 1988.

Dora, after working as a stenographer for a bank and insurance company, became a secretary for the U. S. Public Health Service and later the Veterans Administration, which in 1964, recognized her “sustained superior performance.” Dora, who also did not marry, served on the board of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Community Center. She died in 1995.

After graduating from Newman, Rosalee worked as a stenographer and a file clerk before marrying Nathan Yasnyi, with whom she had a daughter. Rosalee and Nathan shared their home with Jennie and Dora. Rosalee died in 1988, just seven months before Jennie. 

In Their Own Words

In 1984, Jennie Gordon and Rosalee Gordon Yasnyi participated in the Home Alumni Interview Project. As summarized by JCRS Executive Director Viola Weiss, read  Jennie’s and Rosalee’s recollections of childhood in the Home.

Dora Gordon, May 1957

This photo of Dora Gordon, a secretary for the U.S. Public Health Service hospital, appeared in the New Orleans States, May 18, 1957.