Eva Blum has lived a life full of firsts.
The retired PNC executive is a first-generation American, the daughter of immigrants Harry and Jeannette Tansky who came to Pittsburgh from Russia and Poland. Eva grew up in the East End and graduated from Peabody High School. She was among the first generation in her family to earn a college degree. Blum said her parents, who had their own educations stalled by the Great Depression, instilled the importance of learning in their three children from an early age.
She took their passion to heart, graduating from high school a year early, moving on to the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), working as a guide at the Cathedral of Learning’s Nationality Rooms, and winning a full scholarship to the university’s law school.
“We didn’t have a lot growing up, but my parents always stressed that we had a responsibility to help others who had less. When I won that scholarship, I knew from that day forward that I had a responsibility to help other students. That law degree opened doors for me that I never dreamed were possible,” Blum said.
She began her professional career as a lawyer with the Department of Commerce in Washington before returning to Pittsburgh, where she raised her daughter, Hannah, as she moved up the ranks at PNC. The last chapter of her exceedingly accomplished professional life was as executive vice president and director of community affairs for PNC and president of the PNC Foundation.
As a community leader, Eva spent countless hours volunteering at Pitt. She was president of the Pitt Alumni Association, and co-chaired the final stage of the university’s successful $2 billion capital fund campaign. She is now the first woman to chair the University of Pittsburgh’s board of trustees in 230 years.
A high energy, petite powerhouse, Eva counts golf, cooking and reading among her pastimes.
A longstanding and valued member of the Temple, Eva believes the future of Temple Sinai is very important, both now and into the future. She states, “The Temple is a significant institution in both the Jewish and general communities. One of its hallmarks is the warm and welcoming atmosphere that the congregation engenders. This starts with Rabbi Gibson. It is my pleasure to support the fine work being done at Temple Sinai.”