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The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Matilda and Bernice Blaustein

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Matilda and Bernice Blaustein until we are able to commission a full entry.

Matilda Blaustine and her daughter, Bernice. Both served in the WAAC during World War II.

While 150,000 women eventually served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in World War II, Matilda Blaustein was remarkable both as one of the first to volunteer and because she was joined in the service by her daughter, Bernice. Before the war, Blaustein was appointed district deputy of New York in the Masonic Order, the first Jewish woman to rise so high in the organization. She was made a staff sergeant in the first WAAC contingent in 1942, completing basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa before becoming a radar spotter for US Naval Intelligence in the First Fighter Command in New York. Her daughter Bernice, who joined the WAAC in 1943, did basic training in Fort Bliss, Texas. Both mother and daughter served until the end of the war, after which Matilda focused her efforts on raising funds for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, working to release refugee families from displacement camps and resettle them.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Matilda and Bernice Blaustein." (Viewed on December 9, 2023) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/blaustein-matilda-and-bernice>.


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