Rose Gruening

Rose Gruening created a number of social assistance organizations to aid immigrant families, offering practical help that included childcare, funding for college educations, and even a summer camp. After Gruening graduated Vassar in 1895, she began volunteering at the Madison House, and in 1907 convinced the House trustees to establish a summer camp for underprivileged children in Mountainville, NY. Gruening was creative in finding ways to stretch the funds for Camp Moodna, buying up twenty retired horse cars from a trolley company to use as the first cabins. When Madison House became overwhelmed with the number of people needing assistance, Gruening helped found an offshoot house in an underserved neighborhood, the Arnold Toynbee House, in 1916. Three years later, the Arnold Toynbee House moved to larger quarters on Grand Street, and it was officially renamed in 1925. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the Grand Street Settlement offered children’s social clubs, childcare, and even showers for those who lacked running water. By Gruening’s death, Grand Street was serving 1,600 children and 200 mothers weekly.

1 Comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

She helped fund my father's undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins-class of 1936. He served as a surgeon in WWII and practiced Urology in Schenectady NY until 1986. He kept a picture of her among our family photos.

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Gruening." (Viewed on May 7, 2021) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox