Seymour and Kathy Brotman Collection

Biography of Seymour and Kathy Brotman

Since their move to Scranton from Plainfield, New Jersey in 1970, Seymour and Kathy Brotman have served the Jewish and Scranton communities for nearly three decades. They were instrumental in the relocation of Ethiopian and Soviet Jews to the United States, Israel, and Canada and in creating a thriving Jewish community within the Scranton area.

Seymour Brotman was a former social worker who had served as assistant executive director of the Plainfield Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA) from 1968 to 1970. In Scranton, he helped to launch the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and establish it as a haven for children who had no where else to go. He served as the executive director of the JCC from 1970 to 1991 as well as the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1991. During his tenure as executive director of the JCC and the Jewish Federation, Mr. Brotman oversaw the development of the Holocaust Education Resource Center, the Leadership Development programs, endowment funds, and other projects. Mr. Brotman also dedicated several hours a week to pastoral companionship at Mercy Hospital, where he trained to be a companion to patients who were seriously ill or dying. He also spent time each week at the Lackawanna County Prison, meeting with inmates as a Public Defender's Office Liaison, and sat on the boards of several community organizations including St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen and the Diversity Coalition of Lackawanna County. He was also involved with the University of Scranton's Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute, the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania, Jewish Family Service, Lackawanna County CETA Planning Board, Interfaith Foundation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Task Force to "Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful," and the Ethics Institute of Northeast Pennsylvania. In 1991, Amos Lodge 136 of the B'nai B'rith named Mr. Brotman their Man of the Year.

From September 1970 until August 1999, Kathy Brotman served the Scranton community in a variety of ways. For 13 years, she was the campaign associate of the Scranton-Lackawanna Jewish Federation. She was also a speaker for the United Way Campaign, the American Cancer Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Mrs. Brotman also served as program director at the Day Nursery Association; her leadership resulted in board appointments, officerships, and the receipt of a number of awards from the Jewish Community Center, including the 1982 Woman of the Year Award. She also instituted the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) while earning her master's degree at Marywood College (now Marywood University), where she later taught early education classes. For many years, she was a volunteer for the annual United Jewish Appeal Campaign. She served three years as women's division chairwoman and two years as Super Sunday chairwoman, leading the women's division campaign to contributions exceeding $400,000.

Despite retiring in 1999, the Brotmans remain actively involved in volunteer service. In 2013, they were honored by the Holocaust Education Resource Center of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania for their "visionary commitment to and partnership in successful Youth Holocaust Education."