Women of Valor

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Chicago Woman's Club

Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, 1858 - 1942

"To join an organization of 'women'—not 'ladies'—and one which bore the title 'club', rather than 'society', was in itself a radical step...."

In 1876 Hannah and her older sister Henriette were elected to the elite Chicago Woman's Club. "Our entrance...was significant for the organization as well as for us, as we were not only the first Jewish women invited into it, but were probably the only Jewesses many of the members ever had met." Many of Solomon's ideas for the National Council of Jewish Women stemmed from her experiences with the Chicago Woman's Club.

The club emphasized philanthropy and education, with a course of study that was often as demanding as a first year college curriculum. Solomon, who had been educated at both synagogue grammar school and public high school, was the club's youngest member. The rigorous academic papers she authored included "A Review of Spinoza's Theologico-Politicus" and "Our Debt to Judaism," the first talk on religion ever presented before the club. Years later, columnist Herma Clark depicted the event as a highlight of Chicago's early glories.

Notes: 
  1. "To join an organization of..." quote from Fabric 43.
  2. "Our entrance into the Chicago Woman's Club..." quote from Fabric 42-3.
  3. On Solomon's education see Fabric 37.
  4. On the rigor of the Chicago Woman's Club, see Rogow 61, and Theodora Penny Martin, The Sound of Our Own Voices (Boston : Beacon Press, 1987) 105.
  5. For Clark's articles, see Herma Clark, The Elegant Eighties. (Chicago: McClurg, 1941) 59.
  6. Caption to Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, circa 1892: the quote "It cannot be proven that sick children..." is from Sheaf 73.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Hannah Greenebaum Solomon - Chicago Woman's Club." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/solomon/chicago-womans-club>.