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Miriam Albert

1920 – 1976

by Lisa Epstein

Miriam Albert’s very active life was based in two cities, Chicago, where she was born on September 6, 1920, and Washington, D.C., where she died after a brief illness on August 10, 1976. She received her college education at Wright Junior College, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, studying psychology and office management.

At the time of her death, Albert was marking her thirtieth anniversary as a member of the staff of B’nai B’rith Women. Her affiliation with B’nai B’rith began as a volunteer when she joined the B’nai B’rith Youth movement in Chicago in 1940. She rose through the ranks to become the first national president of B’nai B’rith Young Women, at that time a B’nai B’rith youth group, in 1946. In that year she also joined the professional staff of B’nai B’rith Women, the first year of its existence as an organization independent of B’nai B’rith. Until that time, women’s participation in that men’s organization had been limited to forming auxiliary groups. Albert became assistant director of B’nai B’rith Women in 1952 and served as executive director from 1959 until her death. At that time, the organization had a professional staff of thirty-seven and a membership of 150,000. Eulogies and obituaries reflect her great dedication to B’nai B’rith Women, her strong, calm style of leadership, and her personal warmth and generosity.

B’nai B’rith Women has contributed significantly to Jewish life both in the United States and in Israel, with programs involving human rights, Jewish education, community service, and youth activities. The course of Miriam Albert’s involvement with the movement charts the expansion of women’s roles in the organizational life of American Jewry.

Bibliography

AJYB 78:538.

B’nai B’rith Messenger, August 20, 1976.

National Jewish Monthly (B’nai B’rith) (October 1976).

NYTimes, August 11, 1976, 38:5.

Washington Post, August 11, 1976.

Women’s World (B’nai B’rith) (August/September 1976).

More on Miriam Albert

How to cite this page

Epstein, Lisa. "Miriam Albert." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/albert-miriam>.

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