Edith RosewaldStern

Edith Rosenwald Stern didn’t just commit herself to civil rights causes, she encouraged others to contribute by creating challenge grants to match donations. The daughter of Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and builder of the Sears & Roebuck commercial empire, Stern followed her father’s example by using her wealth for the community’s good. After moving to New Orleans, she helped fund both the Newcomb and Country Day Schools to offer her children and their peers a progressive education. She helped build Dillard University, also in New Orleans, in partnership with the African-American community, using challenge grants to encourage more widespread support. Stern also fought to clean up voting rights in New Orleans, organizing voter registration, auditing voter rolls, and bringing voting machines into high schools to educate future voters. Stern’s philanthropic zeal was legendary: After hearing of a gifted singer at her cook’s church, Stern made her the guest of honor at a society dinner party, helping Marian Anderson become toast of the town.

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Edith Rosenwald Stern was the daughter of Sears, Roebuck founder Julius Rosenwald and the wife of New Orleans business and community leader Edgar Stern. She combined the fortunes and philosophies of both to become an important philanthropic force within her local community, as well as for Israel and the Jewish people.
Photo: Dorothy Wilding
Institution: Long Vue House and Gardens
Date of Birth

Chicago, IL
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Edith Rosewald Stern." (Viewed on September 22, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/stern-edith>.


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