This website is made possible by generous donations from users just like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day.  Please consider making a gift to JWA today!
Close [x]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Helene Gans

A firm believer in the importance of government regulations in protecting citizens, Helene Gans advocated for minimum wage laws, consumer protection, and relief for victims of WWII. Gans graduated from the University of Chicago in 1914 and moved to New York two years later, where she married and raised a family. In the 1930s, she engaged in efforts to combat unemployment and the rising cost of living during the Great Depression. She wrote a paper for the National Women’s Trade Union League in 1932, “Cut-Rate Wages,” which helped shape the first minimum wage law enacted by the New York State legislature. She also wrote about unemployment for the League of Women Voters. From 1938–1941 she served as executive secretary of the Consumers’ League of New York, lobbying for and supporting legislation to better regulate food, drugs, and cosmetics sold in the city. During WWII, she was the eastern regional director of the women’s division of the US Treasury’s war bond drive, and from 1945–1946 she served as director of the women’s division of the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which offered aid to refugees and displaced persons after WWII.

More on: Labor
Date of Birth
December 27, 1893
Place of Birth
Chicago, Illinois
Date of Death
May 7, 1980

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Helene Gans ." (Viewed on December 15, 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