Madeline Borg

1878 – 1956

by Jack Nusan Porter

Madeline Borg was active in philanthropic work for over fifty years.

She was born in New York City on July 31, 1878. At Columbia University, she concentrated on the causes of juvenile delinquency. She was especially active in promoting psychiatric clinics as an integral part of the study of child behavior. Her major contribution was as founder of the Big Sister movement in America in 1912, an organization that provides young girls with companions and role models. In 1914, Borg helped to found the Jewish Big Sister movement. In 1939, she became president of the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, one of the first women to hold such a post. Other positions she held included chair and member of the executive committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians of New York; member of the executive board of the American Jewish Committee; vice president of the National Probation and Parole Association, which helped prisoners upon their release; director of the Child Welfare League, which was active in the prevention of juvenile delinquency; vice-chair of the Mental Hygiene Committee of the State Charities Aid; member of the executive committee of the Girls’ Service League of America; trustee of the Training School for Jewish Social Workers; head of the Women’s Division and vice president of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York; president of the Montefiore Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary Society; and active officer in the Salvation Army.

In 1929, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her a member of the New York State Old Age Pensions Committee. At the same time she was named to the executive committee of the New York City Crime Prevention Bureau. In 1939, she was a trustee of the New York World’s Fair and active on several of its administrative committees.

Her husband, Sidney Cecil Borg, was a financier and civic and communal leader in New York City.

Madeline Borg died in New York City on January 9, 1956.


AJYB 58:475; BEOAJ; Obituary. NYTimes, January 10, 1956, 31:1; UJE; WWIAJ (1926, 1928, 1938).

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How to cite this page

Porter, Jack Nusan. "Madeline Borg." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 1, 2020) <>.


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