Irene Rothschild Guggenheim
Irene Rothschild Guggenheim founded the Brightside Day Nursery and made it her life’s work, overseeing children’s services from day care for newborns to vocational training for teenagers. Guggenheim attended what would become Hunter College before Ida Clemens, a social worker, asked her to help establish a day nursery for children of working women in 1894. For 54 years, Guggenheim served as president of the Brightside Day Nursery, a facility which offered care for children as young as ten days old through kindergarten age. By 1904 they offered day care for 150 small children; after-school programs for older children; classes in sewing, gardening, and other skills for 100 girls; and Saturday morning religious school for 250 boys and girls. They also created a library, a savings fund, a “mothers’ club,” and a summer home for children. In the late 1920s, Guggenheim created an offshoot of the nursery, the Cannon Street Health Center, which offered nutrition classes and medical and dental services for mothers and children. Guggenheim later became director of the association of Day Nurseries of New York City, raising the standards of childcare in New York, and a trustee of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Irene Rothschild Guggenheim." (Viewed on December 7, 2016) <https://jwa.org/people/guggenheim-irene>.