Frieda SchiffWarburg

Frieda Schiff Warburg’s determination to carry on her father’s philanthropic traditions led her to support and shape major Jewish institutions in America and Israel. The daughter of Jacob Schiff, head of the Kuhn, Loeb banking firm and one of the preeminent Jewish communal leaders of his day, Warburg began volunteering soon after her marriage as director of the Brightside Day Nursery. She then moved to the YWHA, first as director from 1911–1929 and then president until 1942. In 1938 she became the first woman on the Jewish Theological Seminary’s board of directors, a position she held until her death, and in 1944 donated her Fifth Avenue mansion to become the Jewish Museum. A committed Zionist who supported a variety of Jewish philanthropic organizations, she was named honorary chair of the Hadassah Hospital building fund in 1936 and established a scholarship fund for medical students there in 1949. She also gave generously to United Jewish Appeal’s efforts to house and educate immigrants to Israel. In 1935 she and her husband created a family foundation to support both Jewish and civic causes. Her philanthropy took a more personal turn during WWII, as she rescued friends and family from Europe, housing refugees in her various homes.


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Frieda Warburg, 1936.
Courtesy of the 92nd Street Y, New York City.
Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Frieda Schiff Warburg." (Viewed on June 22, 2021) <>.


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