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Philanthropy

Minnie Low

Known as the “Jane Addams of the Jews,” Minnie Low was a leader in the Jewish social service community. Born in New York City, on November 9, 1867, Low was the second of six children. When she was ten, Low’s family moved to Chicago, where she completed grammar school. Unfortunately, she was forced to leave South Division High School during her first year due to poor health.

Fanny E. Holtzmann

Fanny E. Holtzmann was a middle child in a family of seven children. Born in Brooklyn to Henry and Theresa Holtzmann, she grew up ignored by her busy family. Her close relationship with her maternal grandfather was crucial in encouraging Fanny, once labeled the “class dunce,” to complete three years of high school and enroll in night classes at Fordham University’s law school. During the day, she worked as a clerk for a theatrical law firm. The only woman to graduate in her law class of 1922, she opened her office half an hour after passing the bar.

Ruth Mosko Handler

Best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, Ruth Mosko Handler combined her marketing genius with her husband Elliot Handler’s creative designs to form the toy company Mattel, Inc. Starting in their garage in 1939, the Handlers produced Lucite gifts, wooden picture frames, and dollhouse furniture before developing their first toy, the Uke-A-Doodle, in 1947. The success of the Uke-A-Doodle was followed by a series of rubber-belt-driven musical toys, including the Jack-in-the-Box, as well as toy guns such as a Winchester rifle replica. Yet it was the Barbie doll, created in 1959, that “ran off the counter.” Thirty years later, sales of the doll that Handler named after her daughter exceeded one billion dollars.

Louise Waterman Wise

Philanthropist and charity worker Louise Waterman Wise was likely the first American Jewish Woman to be awarded the Order of the British Empire, the equivalent of a knighthood. She was, without doubt, the first to decline the honor. How an ardent Zionist and outspoken critic of Britain’s “ruthless conduct” with respect to Jewish settlement in Palestine could, nevertheless, perform such outstanding service to the British people as to merit official praise, is just one aspect of the “legend of Louise.”

Henrietta Scheuer Wimpfheimer

She filled the next fifty years participating in local Jewish community groups. Wimpfheimer was a member of many other New York benevolent societies including the New York Guild for the Blind, the Amelia Relief Society, the Montefiore Home, and the Godmothers’ League.

Esther Ziskind Weltman

Trustee and philanthropist Esther Ziskind Weltman was instrumental in giving shape and focus to Jewish philanthropy in the United States in the post–World War II years.

Frieda Schiff Warburg

Warburg began her philanthropic work after her marriage as a director of the Brightside Day Nursery. In 1911, she became a director of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) and later its president (1929–1942).

Julia Waldbaum

Julia Waldbaum was a philanthropist and businesswoman.

Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson

One of the leading Jewish philanthropists of the second half of the twentieth century, Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson left an indelible mark on a broad array of Jewish cultural, scholarly, and religious endeavors and institutions.

Faige Teitelbaum

Faige Teitelbaum was the wife of the late Satmar rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (died 1979). She was a leader of the Satmar Hasidic community and often performed the role of a Hasidic rebbe. In this powerful role, she was undoubtedly the best-known woman in the Hasidic world.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Philanthropy." (Viewed on June 28, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/philanthropy>.

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