Seymour Graiver’s father came from Slonim (now Belarus) and mother from Vinitsa, in the Ukraine. Seymour spent his youth in the Bronx Workers Cooperative Colony—one of the original Jewish workers’ labor cooperatives.
After graduating Stuyvesant H.S. he served in the U.S. Navy, and received an honorable discharge in 1946. This led to college at CCNY and graduation in 1951 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Statistics. Entering the workforce, as a statistical clerk, for a life insurance company, he rose to Data Processing Manager. As a member of the Data Processing Management Association, he was elected President of the union’s local chapter in Westchester County, NY. Seymour rose to the position of Vice-President, responsible for all administrative functions.
In 1976, he left to become General Manager of the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan, a federal employee health benefits program administered under the Health Benefits Act. The plan covered 330,000 federal employees and their families for health benefits—the largest program after Blue Cross. From 1984-1998 Seymour was at a Health Benefits consulting firm, specializing in benefit programs for labor unions.
He is a graduate of the IWO elementary & mittleshul where he met Helen, and they were married in 1949. He also was a counselor in Camp Kinderland in 1943, 1944, 1946 and 1947. Both are active in the Yiddish community and are in a Yiddish leyenkrayz as well as the Friends of Yiddish. Seymour said, “I speak Yiddish fairly well, and can read and write enough to get by.” Seymour and his wife attended the first conference at the U. of MD, as well as conferences in Miami, UCLA, Chevy Chase, Milwaukee & Baltimore.