William Breman

The Man Behind The Museum

His lifetime of leadership and distinguished achievements continue to be an inspiration for all who knew him.

In 1990, with a desire to establish something substantial, historical and permanent to benefit both the Jewish and general communities, Bill Breman gave generously to the Atlanta Jewish Federation (now the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta) to create a Jewish heritage museum. His vision and his dream became a reality when The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum opened its doors at the Selig Center in June 1996.

Bill Breman was born on March 13, 1908, in Philadelphia. When he was five years old, the family moved to Atlanta, where they remained until Bill was 15, at which time they moved to Asheville, North Carolina. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1929.

Bill and Sylvia Breman with their daughter, Carol.

Bill returned to Atlanta and married Sylvia Goldstein of Rochester, New York, in 1934. The couple had two children, Carol Breman Nemo and James Breman.

Bill retired from his business, Breman Steel Company, in 1979.

Following his first wife’s long illness and death in 1993, Bill married Elinor Angel Rosenberg. Elinor has been an ardent supporter and an active participant in the development and progress of the Museum from its beginnings. In honor of Bill’s 90th birthday, Elinor made a gift of a Steinway piano to the Museum, ensuring that music would be incorporated into the Museum’s programming.

Bill received numerous humanitarian and human relations awards for the extensive community service work that he did, including the Distinguished Service Award of the Gate City Lodge of B’nai B’rith (1965); the American Jewish Committee Human Relations Award (1981) and the Abe Goldstein Humanitarian Award of the Anti-Defamation League (1984). He served as president of The Temple and The Jewish Home, now called The William Breman Jewish Home.

Bill was a life member of the following boards: American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, The Temple, The William Breman Jewish Home and The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. In 2000, he was honored by the Federation with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bill Breman passed away on December 13, 2000 beloved by Elinor, their combined families – 5 children, 13 grand-children and 3 great-grandchildren.

His legacy lives on at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

Bill, receiving an award for community service, Atlanta.