Rhoda Kaufman

Rhoda Kaufman helped create social welfare organizations throughout Georgia and overcame prejudice against her religion and gender to become one of the most respected social reformers in the country. Kaufman earned a BS in physics, logic, and psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1909 before moving to Atlanta, where she became involved in both Jewish and secular charitable organizations, From 1913–1915 she served as president of the local American Association of College Women, lobbying successfully for state funding of schools for delinquent and mentally challenged girls. She served briefly with the State Council of Social Agencies before becoming executive secretary of Georgia’s Department of Public Welfare from 1923–1929. There, she not only created vital social programs but oversaw research for jurists like Louis Brandeis that helped support legislation to protect the poorest and most vulnerable citizens. In 1930, Herbert Hoover appointed her for two years to his White House Conference on Child Welfare. While she officially retired in 1945, she remained involved with social reform throughout her life through the United Nations Women’s Organization and the League of Women Voters, among others.


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Rhoda Kaufman, social reformer.

Date of Birth

Columbus, GA
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rhoda Kaufman." (Viewed on April 20, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/kaufman-rhoda>.


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