You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Blanche Goldman Etra

An Orthodox Jew whose family protested her attending college, Blanche Goldman Etra opened doors to independence and education for other Jewish women by founding women’s divisions of medical schools and women’s seminars on financial planning.In 1938 Etra was one of six women in her graduating class of 300 students at Columbia Law School. She briefly worked for a law firm but resigned in 1941 out of frustration with sexism, serving part time in her husband’s firm instead and focusing her efforts on women’s issues in the larger community. In 1950 she founded the Women’s Division of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York. She worked with Rose Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt to raise millions of dollars to create chapters of the Women’s Division around the country. She also created estate-planning seminars for United Jewish Appeal and the Jewish Federation, collaborating with surrogate judges, journalists, and lawyers to create tools for women to better understand and control their finances. In 1977, after the death of her husband, she became full partner in their firm. In 1988 she became the second woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University. The graduates of Stern College gave her a standing ovation.

More on: Women's Rights
More on Blanche Goldman Etra
Date of Birth
March 8, 1915
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Death
January 4, 1995

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Blanche Goldman Etra ." (Viewed on January 20, 2018) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs