Sally Rivoli Wolf
During World War I, Sally Rivoli Wolf joined the United States Navy as a Yeoman F, first class, and served from 1918 to 1919, as one of 2,324 women from the state of New York. This year of wartime service to her country and the camaraderie and patriotism it engendered determined the interests and activities to which she devoted the next twenty years of her life. As a professional journalist, she used her writing skill to record the history of the veterans’ organizations she helped establish, and served as editor and associate editor for their publications. She was an organizer and active participant in the Women War Veterans Association, the American Legion, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, and the National Yeoman F, an association of the women who had served in the U.S. Navy organized to preserve the historical significance of their service. She worked actively with both the Jewish War Veterans of the United States and the American Legion in positions promoting good will among Americans of all faiths and developing patriotic programs to perpetuate American ideals.
Sally Rivoli Wolf was born in New York City on November 6, 1899, the daughter of Charles and Anna Wolf. She studied journalism at New York University and appears to have spent her entire career in the New York City area. Between 1920 and 1936, she worked as the New York correspondent for several newspapers, and on the staff or as a special news writer for other newspapers. These included Motion Picture News (Oregon), the New York Globe, Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), Pleasantville Journal (New York), and Bronx Home News. As part of her volunteer work for veterans’ organizations, she wrote History of Bronx County American Legion, 1919–27 (1927) and “Women War Veterans” in The Jewish Veteran (1935). She was editor of the Department Bulletin for Jewish War Veterans of the United States in 1932 and, in 1933, associate editor of The Jewish Veteran, their monthly magazine.
She was a charter member of American Legion Post 43 and was adjutant from 1924 to 1927 and from 1930 to 1936. She was also chair of the Americanism Committee. In 1935, as a member of the American Legion, Hunts Point Post 58, she received a medal for a decade of service. She was a charter member of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, where she served as a member of the national Americanism Committee, as adjutant in 1922 and from 1930 to 1932, New York State adjutant from 1931 to 1933, assistant national adjutant from 1931 to 1933, and judge advocate in 1936. She was awarded a Silver Cup for service in 1923 by the Colonel Harry Cutler Post 3. She served as chair of the Bronx-Westchester district from 1934 to 1937.
Sally Rivoli Wolf was a woman who took positive steps to advance her interests and talents. She joined the U.S. Navy during the World War I as soon as women were admitted, worked on newspapers when few women did, and spent many years as an active member and officer of three largely male veterans’ advocacy groups. She worked to promote veterans’ concerns, Jewish and American ideals, and women veterans’ place in history.
History of Bronx County American Legion, 1919–27 (1927); “Women War Veterans.” The Jewish Veteran (February 1935).
Ebbert, Jean, and Mary-Beth Hall. Crossed Currents: Navy Women from W.W.I to Tailhook (1993); UJE 6:147, s.v. “Jewish War Veterans of the United States”; WWIAJ (1938).