Paula Bloom, 79 Social Worker and Educator

Paula Bloom, 79, a social worker, educator and a life-long Labor Zionist, died July 25 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The former Paula Yakira, she was known to the majority of her family, friends and colleagues as "Pepi."

Bloom was born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1927, into a secular, labor Zionist home. At the age of 16, she joined Habonim, a Labor Zionist youth group.

She graduated from Hunter College in 1948, married Joel Bloom that same year; the two moved to Israel a year later.

She was a social worker in the town of Magdiel from 1949 to 1952, working mostly with recent émigrés from Yemen. Upon their return to the United States, she worked for the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The couple returned to America and settled in Swarthmore in 1958.

Bloom taught Hebrew School at Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Wallingford, and studied at Gratz College while raising three children. She earned a bachelor's degree in Hebrew Letters from Gratz.

She worked for two years at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall from 1977 to 1979. She was then employed at Akiba Hebrew Academy in Merion as an instructor in rabbinics and Bible for the next 12 years.

After leaving Akiba, she worked for a year at Auerbach CAJE, retiring in 1993.

Bloom is survived by her husband of 58 years, Joel Bloom; daughter Margo Bloom; sons Ron Bloom and Dan Bloom; and six grandchildren.



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