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Community Organizing

Rose Gruening

Known during her lifetime as the “Angel of Grand Street,” Rose Gruening was head worker and founder of the Grand Street Settlement in New York City. Although Gruening never liked this title, it attests to her significance in the eyes of many people. Like Jane Addams, Lillian Wald, and other women settlement workers of the early twentieth century, Gruening helped to create a social “safety net” through voluntary civic activism, before the concept of public responsibility for poor and disadvantaged Americans was enacted by the U.S. Government. Once the Depression and the New Deal transformed the workings of social welfare in the United States, the social service concept as practiced by Gruening and her contemporaries changed dramatically. Before it did so, however, thousands of immigrant families from the Lower East Side of New York experienced Gruening’s settlement house activism in personal and profound ways.

Mary Belle Grossman

Mary Belle Grossman was, in 1918, was one of the first two women admitted to membership in the American Bar Association. After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, she became one of Cleveland’s most successful political activists.

Haika Grosman

Haika Grosman was born in Bialystok on November 20, 1919. She was the third and youngest child of Nahum (1890–1942) and Leah (née Apelbaum) Grosman (1891–Treblinka, August 1943), a member of a wealthy family imbued with Jewish tradition and culture, living in a city half of whose residents (about sixty thousand) were Jewish. Her father was a factory owner, from whom, she alleged, she inherited her looks: “short, blue-eyed, blond.”

Greek Resistance During World War II

On October 28, 1940, Italy invaded Greece but was rapidly chased back into Albania, where the Greeks held the Italians under siege for the next five months. In April 1941, responding to Mussolini’s call for help, the Germans invaded and overran Yugoslavia and Greece; by the end of May the bloody fighting in Crete ended mainland Greek independence; the king and his government relocated to Cairo and sporadic resistance continued in the mountains. In the subsequent partition, Bulgaria realized her irredentist claims to Macedonia and Thrace. Germany took Salonika and environs, the stretch along the Turkish border to separate the Bulgarians and the Turks, and most of Crete. The remainder of mainland Greece and her islands, several (e.g. Rhodes and Kos) already occupied before the war, were allocated to Italy.

Emma Leon Gottheil

Although she rejected the idea of the first Zionist Congress, the brilliant and multilingual Emma Leon Gottheil had a change of heart and became instrumental in the founding of Hadassah.

Elizabeth Glaser

Elizabeth Glaser made a significant contribution to the littlest AIDS victims. Mobilized to save her own HIV-infected children, Glaser founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation (PAF) in 1988, which to date has raised more than $50 million.

German Immigrant Period in the United States

The period 1820–1880 has generally been considered the era of German Jewish immigration to the United States. Issues of gender and family shaped this migration from the Germanic regions, and from other parts of Central and Eastern Europe from 1820 to 1880.

Jane Friedenwald

Jane Friedenwald, the daughter of German Jews and connected through marriage to one of the most prominent German Jewish families in Baltimore, was a valuable member of the new American Jewish aristocracy. She dispensed charity, created and supported American Jewish institutions, bettered herself intellectually and culturally, and raised her children to honor the family name and legacy.

Jane Brass Fischel

An outstanding communal leader in New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community, Jane Brass Fischel was a generous philanthropist and active participant in Jewish communal activities.

Feminism in the United States

Jewish women have played a significant role in all aspects of the American feminist movement.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Community Organizing." (Viewed on November 21, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/community-organizing>.

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