Helen Miller Dalsheimer
Helen Miller Dalsheimer took on leadership roles both locally through her synagogue, the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and on a national level. She was president of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods from 1953 to 1957, overseeing the creation of the Youth, Education, and Special Projects (YES) Fund, which gave financial aid to Reform institutions and to rabbinical and cantorial students. She was also the first Jewish woman on the board of the Women’s Hospital of Baltimore, serving in various roles from 1939 to 1958. In 1956 she became president of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, serving for three years, and in 1962, she was elected honorary president for life, only the second time that honor had been given in the 132-year history of the congregation.
Helen Miller Dalsheimer was a leader in the Jewish community, both nationally and in her native Baltimore. She had a distinguished career as a volunteer whose contributions helped bring women, both volunteers and professionals, into positions of leadership previously occupied only by men.
She was born in Baltimore on April 16, 1900, the daughter of Sol and Minnie (Kaufman) Miller. Her father was a dealer in horses and later in the insurance business. She grew up with an older brother, Howard, in Baltimore, where she graduated from the Friends School in 1917, attended Goucher College from 1917 to 1919, and married Hugo Dalsheimer, business executive and philanthropist, in 1921. They had two sons, George and Roger, both of Maryland.
Helen Dalsheimer was deeply involved in the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where she was confirmed in 1914. She became president of the sisterhood in 1936, held other posts, and served as the first woman president of a major Jewish Reform congregation from 1956 to 1959. She was the first woman president of a community center, the Baltimore YM-YWHA (1947–1950) and of the World Federation of YMHAs and Community Centers in 1965.
In Dalsheimer’s many lectures to diverse Jewish groups, her subject matter was frequently, “The role of women in …” She was the first Jewish woman to become a member of the board of Women’s Hospital of Baltimore, where she served in many positions from 1939 to 1958. She was president of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (now Women of Reform Judaism) from 1953 to 1957. She held many board memberships and, with her husband, was a friend of prominent Jewish leaders. She wrote musicals and parodies for congregational events.
Helen Miller Dalsheimer died on December 25, 1974.
AJYB 76: 513.
Dalsheimer, Helen Miller. Archives. Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore, Maryland.
Who’s Who of American Women 1958–1959.