Emma B. Mandl created and led vital institutions for Jewish European immigrants in Chicago, from orphanages to trade schools to tuberculosis wards. Mandl immigrated to the US at age fifteen and married in 1865 before helping found the Baron Hirsch Women’s Club, a major Chicago philanthropic organization, in 1889. She eventually served as its president for fourteen years and was then named honorary president. Through the club, Mandl organized and led a number of service groups including Chicago’s first Jewish orphanage in 1894, a halfway house called the Home for Jewish Friendless and Working Girls in 1901, a trade school and social services network called the Ruth Club in 1905, the Chicago Winfield Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1909, and the Home for Convalescent Men and Boys in 1915. In 1907 she also founded the Jewish Home Finding Society, which offered financial support to families, reunited mothers with children they had placed in orphanages, and found foster parents for children who needed them. Mandl also volunteered with a variety of other organizations, including serving as a probation officer for the Juvenile Court of Chicago. The activist Jane Addams was a pallbearer at her funeral.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Emma B. Mandl." (Viewed on May 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/mandl-emma>.