Dora Ehrlich

Hailed by Jewish News as “The First Lady of Detroit Jewish Womanhood,” Dora Buchhalter Ehrlich took on community leadership positions usually reserved for men. Ehrlich graduated from the University of Michigan in 1902 and taught high school in Detroit for seven years before marrying in 1910. She served as regional director of Hadassah for two years, organizing chapters throughout Michigan, and as regional president before serving on Hadassah’s national board. She also served on the boards of her YWHA, the Sisterhood of Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, the Detroit Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Women’s League of Hebrew Schools, and the Auxiliary of Old Folks Homes, among others. But it was as the first woman to serve as president of the Jewish Welfare Federation’s Detroit chapter that she made news in 1934. After her term ended in 1937, she was made an honorary lifetime member. She went on to organize the Sinai Guild of Sinai Hospital in 1952, the first year she was nominated for the Butzel Award for service to the Detroit Jewish community. She finally won the award in 1955, and was the first woman to be so honored.


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Photo of Dora Ehrlich, courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Dora Ehrlich." (Viewed on July 23, 2019) <>.


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