MILWAUKEE — More than half the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office jobs are filled by women. After meeting Bucks President Peter Feigin’s mom, you wonder why it’s so few!
“I was raised by a woman who kind of did everything — was a great parent and a great executive, and it made sense to have that kind of representation,” Feigin told Wisconsin’s Morning News.
Peter is helping his mother, Barbara Feigin, promote her new book, detailing her rise as an advertising executive. This was a time, beginning in the 1960s, when opportunities for professional women were limited.
“We could either become nurses, teachers, typists, or get married,” Mrs. Feigin recalled. “None of those appealed to me at the time.”
Feigin’s book, My American Dream: A Journey from Fascism to Freedom, details her family’s escape from Nazi Germany in 1940. Barbara was two years old when they boarded a train out of Berlin.
“Try to imagine going on a 17-day trip with a 2-and-a-half-year-old,” Feigin shared.
Barbara doesn’t recall the journey, but a recently discovered journal her father wrote, offered harrowing details. Her parents were trying to make it to Japan to gain passage on a ship to the U.S. Every time the train stopped, they feared being discovered.
“Terrified,” she said of the ordeal. “Terrified that they would be taken off the train and God knows what would happen to them at that point.”
Barbara Feigin said her family ended up in a small, rural community in Washington State. She recalls deeply wanting to become “an authentic American.” It was a dream her parents had for her.
Barbara’s father wrote about, “…their elation about being in the land of the free,” was evident in his writing. Barbara continued: “My father says in his journal, in the land of the free you can be who you want to be. You can do what you want to do. You can read what you want to read.”
Barbara Feigin still lives in New York City, but visits her son, Peter here in Milwaukee often. She has an event this evening at the Harry & Rose Sampson Family Jewish Community Center.
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