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Minnie Dessau Louis

Minnie Dessau Louis helped immigrant Jewish women find real success in America through the many and varied schools she ran. Louis taught at New York’s Temple Emanu-El for five years before becoming founding president of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls in 1880, which taught immigrant women everything from home economics to vocational skills. She also served as executive committee secretary of the Mount Sinai Training School for Nurses from 1882–1886 and president of the school from 1886–1889. Known throughout the Jewish community, Dessau spoke at the Jewish Women’s Congress at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and subsequently helped found the National Council of Jewish Women. She served as an NCJW board member from 1893–1895 and chaired its first national committee on religion in 1894. From 1897–1898 she was director of the Clara de Hirsch Home for Girls. Outside of her many obligations, Louis also wrote articles and poetry for newspapers like the American Hebrew and the Jewish Messenger. She retired from her longtime presidency of the Hebrew Technical School in 1900.

More on Minnie Dessau Louis
Date of Birth
June 21, 1841
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death
March 12, 1922

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Minnie Dessau Louis." (Viewed on November 20, 2018) <>.


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