Sophie Irene SimonLoeb

At a time when widowed mothers often had no way to support their children, Sophie Irene Simon Loeb helped create support systems for needy children and their mothers. After losing her own father at age sixteen, Loeb worked in a local store to support her family. She married the store owner, Ansel Loeb, in 1896, divorced him in 1910, and moved to New York City, where she began working as a journalist for the World. Interviewing families that had been forced into even more dire situations than her own, Loeb became a persuasive advocate for widows and orphans. In 1915, working for the new State Commission on Relief for Widowed Mothers, she helped create welfare boards and support funds for families throughout the state. That year she was appointed to New York City’s Child Welfare Board, where she served as president for eight years and helped craft child welfare legislation. In 1924 she became founding president of the Child Welfare Committee of America and began pushing for international guidelines for foster homes over orphanages. Continuing her work as a journalist, Loeb travelled to Palestine as a reporter for the Evening World and wrote Palestine Awake: The Rebirth of a Nation, in 1926.

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Sophie Loeb.
Photograph by Underwood & Underwood, courtesy of Hadassah.
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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sophie Irene Simon Loeb." (Viewed on February 25, 2021) <>.


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