Diana Rotman was born in the Bronx to Jewish immigrant parents who migrated from what was Poland in the 1920s. The youngest of three children, Rotman grew up on Teller Avenue and remembers the demographics of the street being overwhelmingly Jewish until the Bronx’s demographics began shifting and more black and Hispanic families started moving in. This prompted Rotman’s family to move to Mosholu Parkway when she was twelve years old, where she lived until moving to Manhattan after graduating high school.
Rotman was raised in an Orthodox, Yiddish-speaking household, and her family attended shul, kept kosher, and changed dishes over at Passover. Rotman remembers feeling very safe in her neighborhood growing up and having a strong sense of community with other Jewish families that lived nearby.
For her education, Rotman attended Jordan Elmont Junior High before moving to PS 80 for the remainder of junior school. While her family lived close to Walton High School, Rotman attended Evander Childs High School because of her friends. She remembers Evander being predominantly Italian, a stark contrast to the Jewish majority schools she was familiar with. Additionally, Rotman remembers the limits she felt were placed on her because of her gender and becoming a secretary rather than going to college.
Overall Rotman recalls her childhood in the Bronx as being warm, gentle, family-oriented, friendly, insulated, and secure.
Teller Avenue, Mosholu Parkway, Orchard Beach, Orthodox, Yiddish, street games, fur business, gender, Jordan Elmont Junior High, PS 80, Evander Childs High School
Maier Garcia, Sophia, "Rotman, Diana" (2023). Bronx Jewish History Project. 27.