Tag: Philadelphia

Jacob C. Gutman: Lover of the Jewish People

Photo of Jacob C Gutman courtesy of Richard Barnett Bloom.

Born in 1890 in Kiev, Ukraine, Jacob C. Gutman grew up in Philadelphia and was educated at Central High School and Philadelphia University. He married Ida Pressman in 1912, and joined forces with his father-in-law, Harry Pressman, in his clothing business. Soon after the company was renamed Pressman-Gutman Company.

It did not take Gutman long to succeed in his business and begin to dedicate himself to philanthropic endeavors. During the mid-1920s he became the first president of the Association for Jewish Children, and then became a trustee and member of the advisory council of the YMHA/YWHA branch of the Jewish Ys and Centers. In 1927 Gutman made history by becoming the youngest president of Congregation Beth El in West Philadelphia.

Gutman helped found the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, and worked on causes that unified new immigrants from Eastern Europe, arriving in the wake of pogroms, with Jews from Germany and Austria who had arrived in the US before the Civil War. Many considered Gutman an expert on German-Russian Jewish relations in the United States.

After his wife passed away Gutman spent more time helping the Jews of Philadelphia, Israel and all over the world. He became an honorary fellow and trustee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, serving as its secretary and treasurer.

An active man until he died in 1981, Gutman will always be remembered by the Jews of Philadelphia and around the world as a generous and caring man.


Philadelphia’s Generous Native Son

The main entrance to Alter Hall, an academic building at Temple University. Alter Hall is home to the Fox School of Business. Photo courtesy of Jrcla2
The main entrance to Alter Hall, an academic building at Temple University. Alter Hall is home to the Fox School of Business. Photo courtesy of Jrcla2

Born and raised in the Germantown-Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, Richard J. Fox grew to found a property construction, development and management firm, with his brother Robert, known as Fox Companies.
Fox joined the Navy in 1945 where he first began to fly. Flying became a passion for the rest of his life, beginning at age 17 and not stopping until he turned 81 years old.
Fox Companies have built many area buildings, including the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia; the First Union Center, Philadelphia’s state-of-the-art sports arena; and Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania’s most comprehensively planned residential community.
Fox is an active giver to his community. In recognition of his devotion as the Director of Temple University where he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the school named its School of Business and Management in his honor.
He has also been a leader at the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Philadelphia as well as heading the Philadelphia chapter of the American Jewish Committee. Fox also founded the Republican Jewish Coalition where he served as Chairman. He is also the Chairman of the Jewish Policy Center.
Married for 64 years to Geraldine, Fox has 5 children and 7 grandchildren.