, 1880-1967, was a Providence jewelry manufacturer, and civic leader for
many years; his wife, Ida Silverman was a crusader for the
establishment of the State of Israel and played an important role in
fund-raising for Rhode Island hospitals. The Silvermans aided in building
nearly one hundred synagogues throughout the world.
Archibald Silverman was born on March 5, 1880 in Russia and immigrated to the United States when ten years old. In 1897, along with his brother Charles, he started Silverman Brothers, a jewelry manufacturing company in Providence in which Archibald would be involved for the next fifty-eight years.
Silverman served for three years as the president of the New England Manufacturing Jewelers’ and Silversmiths’ Association. In addition to the manufacturing business, he was involved in management and ownership of real estate in Providence. He was also active in various financial institutions having served as vice president and director of the Plantations Bank of Rhode Island and director of the Old Colony Co-Operative Bank.
Silverman was the founder and the president of the Jewish Orphanage of Rhode Island from 1920 to 1930 as well as trustee of Temple Beth El in Providence and its president from 1942 to 1946. Along with his wife Ida he was involved in the Zionist movement. He held many posts in his lifetime including general chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, chairman of the Providence Chapter of the United Jewish Appeal and president of the General Jewish Committee of Providence.
Archibald died on September 14, 1966 and is buried in Providence’s Son’s of David and Israel Cemetery.
Ida was born on October 31,1882 in Kovno, Russia to Mary (Dember) and Louis Camelhor. She immigrated to the United States as an infant, and at ten years old her family moved to Providence. She went to work as a bookkeeper for Siverman Brothers, and shortly thereafter, Ida and Archibald married in 1900.
Ida served on numerous civic boards. She founded and served as president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish Orphanage of Rhode Island, served as the national vice president of Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America. During the late 1930s she played an active role in relocating more than 7,000 Jewish children out of eastern Europe to Palestine. Her philanthropy was world-wide in scope, but she also was active in Rhode Island. In 1955 she founded and served as president of the Friends of Butler Hospital, and in 1957 she served as chair of fundraising for the Rhode Island Association of Mental Health.
Many honors came to Ida, The Jewish National Fund established a forest in Israel that bears her name as does the Israeli village of Nachalat Ida. In 1951 she was honored as the Jewish Mother of the Year by the Jewish National Fund, and in 1954 she was named Rhode Island Mother of the Year. The same year she received an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island College and was awarded another honorary degree by Bryant College in 1960.
Ida immigrated to Israel in 1971 after the death of Archibald. She died there on November 1,1973 and is buried near Jerusalem.
Russell J. DeSimone