Lina Frank Hecht reorganized a major charitable organization of her day and found creative ways to help poor immigrants help themselves, from technical schools to her unusual Hebrew Ladies Sewing Circle. Hecht married in 1867 and moved to Boston, where she began her philanthropic career by funding educational and health services for Eastern European immigrants. In 1878 she reinstated the defunct Hebrew Ladies Sewing Circle, which bought cloth, paid immigrant women to sew it into clothing, and then donated the clothes to the needy. For the next decade, she and her husband worked to streamline Boston’s main Jewish charity, the United Hebrew Benevolent Association, to ensure fair and consistent aid for the poor. In 1895 she helped facilitate the organization’s merger with four other charities to create the Federation of Jewish Charities and was one of three women appointed to the board. In the late 1880s she created a Jewish Sunday school for immigrants which she expanded in 1890 as the Hebrew Industrial School for Girls, followed by a boys’ school two years later. After her death in 1921, the school was renamed the Hecht Neighborhood House in her honor, a name it retained until the 1970s.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Lina Frank Hecht." (Viewed on January 22, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/hecht-lina>.
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