Meta Pollak Bettman was an untiring volunteer in Jewish and civic causes. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 19, 1880, one of five children—three brothers and a sister—to Emil and Carrie (Benjamin) Pollak. Her father, born in Vienna in 1846, immigrated to America in 1865. His business ventures included a grocery store, jobbing crockery, and a scrap iron and steel company. Meta attended Cincinnati High School and did postgraduate work in languages, art, music, philosophy, and history. She married Irvin Bettman, a clothing manufacturer, on April 2, 1903. They had two sons and a daughter.
Bettman was one of the founders and, for many years, an officer of the St. Louis Section of the National Council Of Jewish Women and served on the national board of directors. She was active during World War II, providing training for refugees from Nazi-dominated countries. She participated in civic affairs for the Missouri Association for Criminal Justice, St. Louis Women’s Symphony Committee, St. Louis League of Women Voters, Red Cross, Clothing Bureau of Citizens Committee on Relief and Unemployment, and Citizens School Board Committee.
On August 18, 1955, Meta Pollak Bettman died at age seventy-five in St. Louis, Missouri, after a long illness.
AJYB 58:475; BEOAJ; Obituary. NYTimes, August 20, 1955, 17:4; Pollak, Emil. Papers. AJA; Rogow, Faith. Gone to Another Meeting: The National Council of Jewish Women, 1893–1993 (1993); WWIAJ (1926, 1938).
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Pollak, Oliver B.. "Meta Pollak Bettman." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 26, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/bettman-meta-pollak>.