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Ida WeisFriend

As a suffragist, a philanthropist, and a leader of Jewish women’s organizations, Ida Weis Friend worked to improve the lives of those in her community on many levels. When she was fifteen, Friend raised funds for a fountain at Touro Infirmary, a Jewish hospital in New Orleans. She was also an active member of the Era Club, a local suffrage organization. She served as the founding president of New Orleans Hadassah from 1917–1920 and president of the New Orleans chapter of B’nai B’rith, which was named after her, as well as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1926–1932. In 1920 she became the first Louisiana woman to serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and the following year she was one of two women delegates at the Louisiana constitutional convention. In 1932 she turned her attention to civil rights as a member of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and she helped found the New Orleans Urban League in 1938. She was honored for her service by many national organizations, including the American Red Cross in 1946 and the National Council of Jewish Women in 1955.

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Date of Birth

Natchez, MS
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ida Weis Friend ." (Viewed on June 6, 2020) <>.


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