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Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld

Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld helped organize American Mizrachi Women (now known as AMIT), pushed for its independence from men’s groups, and made aiding children in Israel a major goal of the organization. Gotsfeld married in 1909 and in 1911 moved to Seattle, where she helped Jewish refugees from Russia make new lives in America. Seven years later, in New York, she began working with various Jewish organizations, including the Mizrachi Organization of America, and in 1925 began calling openly for a women’s counterpart to the organization that would have its own administration and financial resources. In 1926 she settled in Tel Aviv as American Mizrachi Women’s Palestine representative, focusing the organization’s work there on creating vocational schools, youth villages, and farms for religious children. By the time of her death, she was the organization’s honorary vice president and the head of their Israel executive council. The Bessie Gotsfeld Children’s Village and Farm School (Kfar Batya), and the Bessie Gotsfeld Forest were named for her in honor of her many years of dedicated service.

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The founder of American Mizrachi Women (today AMIT), Bessie Gotsfeld initially set out to establish vocational schools for religious girls in Palestine. Passionate in her belief that religious women needed their own Zionist organization, and in her desire to care for underprivileged Jewish children, she expanded her vision to create an organization that continues to provide education, religious values and loving homes to Israel's youngest and neediest citizens.

Institution: AMIT Archives

Date of Birth
1888
Place of Birth
Przemysl, Podkarpackie
Date of Death
July 29, 1962

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld." (Viewed on September 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/gotsfeld-bessie>.

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