Through the schools and orphanages she created, Rebecca Gratz established a new model of religious education and made it possible for a new generation to identify as both fully Jewish and fully American. She helped found several philanthropic organizations, including the Philadelphia Orphan Society, a non-sectarian group that sheltered and educated orphans. Over time, however, the evangelical efforts of many Christians involved in charity work convinced Gratz that Jewish children needed a religious education to maintain their cultural identity. She created lesson plans and materials, taught classes, and raised funds for schools that would teach both boys and girls, in English, about Jewish religion, history, and culture. Her model for Jewish education quickly spread to other cities, becoming the standard for the modern Hebrew school.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Rebecca Gratz." (Viewed on January 19, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/gratz-rebecca>.