Anna Marks Allen helped found and run many of the first Jewish charities and social services in America. Concerned by the evangelical tendencies of Christian and even supposedly non-religious charities, Allen joined a group of Philadelphia Jewish women in creating charities to serve the needs of the Jewish community. Allen worked as treasurer of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society for forty years and briefly became its director. She helped Rebecca Gratz found the first Hebrew Sunday school in America in 1838 and from 1855–1867 she served as founding president of the Philadelphia Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum. Through her efforts, she both created a vital support network for the Jewish community and became a model for women’s leadership in volunteer and charity work.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Anna Marks Allen." (Viewed on April 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/allen-anna>.