A child of the Hill District, Albert Smolover (1923-2013) graduated from Schenley High School before serving in the U.S. Army for three years during World War II. His tour of duty involved assembling cars in India and driving them over the Burma Road.
In 1946, Albert Smolover married Irene Katz, the daughter of a Lawrenceville confectioner. They had four children, Charles, Ilan Chaim, Miriam and Sarah. For a time, Albert Smolover worked at his parents’ Hill District grocery store. He later opened a store of his own. As his family grew, Smolover changed careers and became an insurance agent. He later started a financial services company called Executive Planning Services.
Irene Smolover (1927-1980) was a talented vocalist and occasionally gave concerts of folk songs at area synagogues. She volunteered with the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section, and the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged and was a president of the Mother’s Club of the College of Jewish Studies. She was best known, however, as the president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Pioneer Women, earning the title “Mother in Israel.”
Albert Smolover was a life member of the Beth Shalom Congregation board of trustees and was its president from 1975 to 1977. In 1978, he helped found the Synagogue/Federation Relations Committee “to enhance understanding and to develop cooperative and constructive action on all matters of mutual interest to Synagogue and Federation.” He was on the national board of the United Synagogues of America. An advocate for Jewish education, he was a founder of the Solomon Schechter School of Greater Pittsburgh in 1981 and served as chairman of its board. He was also the president of the School of Advanced Jewish Studies.
After Irene Smolover died in 1980, Albert Smolover married Anita Lopatin.