(written in 1999)|
Jennie and Eli first moved to Dover, North Carolina, in 1908 near Kinston, where they moved in 1914. After starting a successful small store, they moved to Durham in 1927. They were legendary for many reasons but one of them was that they had eight consecutive daughters and then a son. Remarkably, three of the daughters married men who became mayors of their towns: in addition to Sara, Naomi was married to Leon Schneider, who served as Mayor of Gastonia, North Carolina, from 1954 to 1957; and Dodi married Harold Frankel, who served as Mayor of Huntington, West Virginia, from 1957 to 1959, then again in 1965 (and in between served as the elected sheriff of Cabell County, West Virginia, from 1960 to 1964).
Jennie Nachamson organized the first Hadassah chapter in the South in Kinston in 1919 and all eight daughters served as local presidents of their city chapters. Hadassah is the largest womenís Zionist organization in the world (300,000 women) and devoted its national and local energies to saving hundreds of thousands of Jewish children orphaned after World War II and subsequently supported health and education projects in Israel. Sara served at every level-- as president of the Durham chapter, president of the Seaboard Region and on the national board of Hadassah for over fifty years, where she organized chapters in the South and became know as "Hadassahís Southern accent". The family was of such legend in the Jewish circles that when all the sisters went to Israel together in 1969 for Saraís 40th wedding anniversary, the Jerusalem Post ran a front page photograph of them with the caption "Sara and her Seven Sisters" featuring their years of service to Hadassah. There is a tree planted in Saraís honor on the grounds of the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem with the plaque saluting her as "Hadassah Pioneer in the American South". Jennie and Sara and Mutt Evans signed more then fifty-five affidavits guaranteeing a job for desperate refugees seeking to escape Hitlerís "final solution" before and during the war and many of them worked in the United Dollar Store which later became Evans United Department Store on Main Street in Durham. The Nachamson and Evans family eventually opened a chain of stores in six cities in North Carolina and Virginia anchored by their first stores in Durham and Kinston.
In June, 1995, a family reunion group of 55 members visited the homes, schools and business sites of the familyís history in Durham and Kinston and read aloud from the extensive diary Jennie Nachamson left for the family in 1939. In Kinston, they planted a tree in honor of the family on Gordon Street where the family lived and received the key to the city from the Mayor. In Durham, they held a special ceremony in the Maplewood Cemetery where both Eli and Jennie are buried alongside their eldest daughter, Sara, who died in 1986 and Eliís brother from South Africa, Morris Nachamson.
The next generation of grand children and great grand children of the family, proud of its North Carolina roots and grateful for the opportunities that America has provided them, boasts of considerable achievement in public affairs, media, the arts, the military and in the business affairs. They are business leaders, lawyers, writers, teachers, artists, environmental professionals, reporters, real estate agents, computer programmers, song writers, exporters, chain store owners, fund raisers, lecturers. There is a sculptor, a guitarist and composer, a designer of stained-glass windows, a speech pathologist, an environmental geographer, and industrial psychologist, a psychiatric social worker, a marketer of anti-drug and anti-alcohol abuse books, a former assistant to a U.S. President and to a North Carolina governor, a former correspondent for the CBS network, a producer and writer for the Cable News network, former enlisted men and officers in the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard and a current Marine Corps officer. Almost all have graduated college and a number have advanced degrees.
Detailed Note: Robert Evans is a former assistant to the legendary radio and television commentator Edward R. Murrow and a former CBS correspondent in Russia and in the American South. His son, Jason, works as a producer-writer for the international division of CNN in Atlanta; his daughter, Julie, is an assistant to Carl Hills, the former US Trade Representative in the Bush administration; and his son, Jeffrey, is a 1994 graduate of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and after serving as a Soros fellow in Rumania, is an executive for the On Assignment Corporation in Los Angeles. Eli N. Evans, besides being an author of three books, was on the White House Staff of President Lyndon B. Johnson, an assistant to former Governor and U.S. Senator Terry Sanford in the 1960ís and serves today as president of the Charles H Revson Foundation in New York City. Paul and S.T. Taylor are president and CEO of the Adapto Steel Company in Miami which sells products all over the world, including China; Linda Frankel is director of the American Friends of Ram Bam Hospital, which supports the major Haifa-based medical center that serves the entire northern half of Israel, including its Arab population and also serves as an emergency hospital for the U.S. Sixth fleet. The family also has its artist: Marvis and Mike Siegel are painters and academic researchers in Gainesville, Florida; Elaine Taylor Danielís is a sculptor in New Hope, Pennsylvania; Bill Shafton is a guitarist and composer in Los Angeles; and Jena Stewart is a designer and distributor of stained-glass windows and doors in Georgia and Charlotte; Jill Schreiber is raising five children while her husband is practicing law in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Lori Shafton is an environmental attorney in Prague in the Czech Republic.
There are various kinds of teachers: Noah Lapine teaches in a rural school in Macon, Georgia, as part of the Teach For America program, and Jeffrey Rosenberg teaches autistic children in Miami. Jenny and David Bern have pioneered in the banking and computer industry by founding Dabco Computer Services assisting banks all over America; and Seth Naxon in Texas, under contract to the Microsoft Corporation, and Alan Frankel in Florida, each have started their own computer companies, creating and selling software, hardware, and training corporate staffs. Jenel Stewart is a psychiatric social worker while Elise Naxon is an industrial psychologist who advises Fortune 500 companies. Jan Naxon markets anti-drug and anti-alcohol abuse publications for a publishing company in Dallas. Mark Rosenberg has been chairman of the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf tournament in Greenville, NC for the last two years and has joined the BTI Telecommunications Company in Raleigh; Kim Jones runs a special program for military day care centers in San Diego while her husband, Steve, a former professional chef, studies to be a graphic artist; Adam Naxon is studying for a masters in Environmental Geography and has worked as an assistant to the commissioner in charge of the water supply for New York City; Judi Shafton is a speech pathologist in the city schools in Los Angeles; Norma Rosenberg and her daughters Karen and Lori are in the real estate business in Miami; Gussie and Eliot Schneider are running BCT printing company, which uses the latest print technology, in Columbia, South Carolina; and Jennifer Lapine is a community volunteer in Stanford, Connecticut, while raising three children and supporting her husband, Mark, who runs a company distributing Panasonic products in Connecticut and New York. Members of the family have served in the U.S. Navy the Army, the Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard; Seth Lapine is currently an officer in the Untied States marine Corps.