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Alice Lillie Seligsberg

Alice Lillie Seligsberg dedicated her life to caring for orphans, first in America and then in Israel. Seligsberg was one of the first graduates of Barnard College and went on to study at Columbia University and in Berlin, Germany. She organized girls clubs in New York and worked at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society before creating Fellowship House, an organization that placed poor and orphaned children in homes and positions, in 1913. That year, she also began studying Bible and Jewish history with Henrietta Szold and became involved with Hadassah, later helping organize the first group of nurses sent to Palestine and serving for two years as president of the organization. In 1922, she became executive director of the Jewish Children’s Clearing Bureau, placing children in homes or orphanages based on the needs of the child. In 1923, she began work as the Palestine advisor to the Junior Hadassah Organization, a position she would hold for the rest of her life, initiating a number of projects including revitalizing Meier Shefeyah, a youth village that housed many war orphans.

Letter from Henrietta Szold to Alice Seligsberg, October 8, 1931
Full image
Henrietta Szold seeks guidance for a more systematic way of placing children in orphanages and advice on setting up a course on for volunteers in Jewish philanthropy from her friend and colleague Alice Seligsberg, suggesting the range of Szold's organizational efforts as a member of the Vaad Leumi (National or General Council).
Courtesy of the Hadassah Archives at the American Jewish Historical Society.
Date of Birth
August 8, 1873
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
August 7, 1940

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alice Lillie Seligsberg." (Viewed on December 19, 2018) <>.


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