Oral History with Anne Brener
Interview with Anne Brener conducted by Kim Marks on April 3, 2023. Recorded at the Princeton Public Library. Part of the Voices of Princeton partner project with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer County.
Anne moved to Princeton in 1947 as a baby to follow a dream of her mother’s, Helen
Brener, to have a farm and be surrounded by family. She and her extended family
lived on Orchard Farm that is still in the family. Anne’s nuclear family’s life centered
on its Princeton life: the Borough schools, Princeton Public Library, the small town
life and the the University’s opportunities. Her parents, Helen and David Brener,
were founding members of The Jewish Center as well as her former husband’s
parents, Rose and Benjamin Kahn. Hebrew School was at the former Christian
Science Church on Olden Street purchased for $3200 until the present location was
built. Her class was the first bar/bat mitzvah class from the new location. After
time in Morocco and Texas after her widowed mother remarried a military officer,
the family returned to Orchard Farm.
Anne has taught, worked with many of Princeton non-profits, served on the
Hadassah Board as well as that of McCarter Theatre, Friends of Princeton Public
Library, Princeton Scholarship Fund (now 101) and University League Nursery
School. She has worked with The Arts Council of Princeton in running the popular
New Year’s Eve program, Curtain Calls. For many years, she has been the Executive
Director of Princeton Adult School that offers over 500 classes to adults in its yearly
offerings. Working within the community has been one of her pleasures as well as
having family nearby.
Her sons and grandsons are now counting as the third and fourth generation
Princetonians since their father and grandfather were born here. She and her
husband, Edward Linky, live within walking distance of grandsons, Benjamin and