Alice S.Petluck

Alice S. Petluck used her position as one of the first women lawyers to advocate for women and children. Petluck immigrated to the US in 1892, at age nineteen, and though she spoke no English on arrival, she graduated from NYU Law School only six years later. She became president of the Mothers Welfare League of the Bronx in 1918 and created both an alimony bureau to pressure courts to go after deadbeat dads and an employment bureau for women during the Depression. She also advocated for teachers to make more home visits to families to help prevent juvenile delinquency. When she was refused admission to the Bronx Bar Association in 1928 because of her gender, she helped found the Bronx Women’s Bar Association, serving as director for many years and chairing their grievance committee. She was also involved in a number of Jewish organizations, including the Women’s American ORT, the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America, and the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations. A 1931 newspaper poll named her one of the Bronx’s twenty leading citizens.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Alice S. Petluck." (Viewed on May 14, 2021) <>.


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