Blanche Hart

Blanche Hart, the first female superintendent of United Jewish Charities, helped lay the foundations for Jewish social services throughout Detroit. In 1902, Blanche Hart and Ida Koppel began the Fresh Air Society, chartering a trolley and bringing picnic baskets on outings that gave immigrant women and their children a day in the country. Two years later, they made the transition from leading day trips to creating a residential camp now known as Tamarack Camps. In 1903, at the age of 27, Hart was hired as the first professional superintendent of United Jewish Charities (which had been founded only four years before). While there, she created and oversaw services for the burgeoning immigrant population of Detroit, including English classes, medical services, community activities, and sports programs. She helped define the charity’s role in the community for twenty years before stepping down in 1923.

Topics: Philanthropy

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Photo of Blanche Hart, courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Blanche Hart." (Viewed on September 22, 2020) <>.


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