Responding to a massive influx of Eastern European immigrants, Golde Bamber created schools and settlement house programs to teach the new arrivals the skills they needed to assimilate and succeed in America. After graduating Boston University’s School of Oratory in 1879, Bamber began teaching elocution both privately and at the YMHA before the turn-of-the-century wave of immigrants made her shift her focus. Invited by Lina Hecht to evaluate a new Sunday school, Bamber suggested that what immigrants needed most were classes in English and practical skills like sewing and cooking. The following year, Hecht funded the Hebrew Industrial School for Girls, followed two years later by a boys’ school, with Bamber serving as director and superintendent of both for four decades. The schools taught academic subjects and vocational skills as well as hygiene, morals, and the basics of both American and Jewish culture, and were praised by many for helping immigrants assimilate and overcome prejudice. Bamber continued her own education at Harvard College and Simmons College of Social Work, fine-tuning her approach to education over time. She retired in 1930.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Golde Bamber." (Viewed on January 19, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/bamber-golde>.