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Rachel Hays Sulzberger

Rachel Hays Sulzberger maintained an active volunteer career in public service, in both Jewish and secular organizations. She is best remembered as the second president of the New York section of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger

Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger was the daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother of four publishers of the New York Times and herself served as a trustee of the paper. She also helped strengthen the schools and parks of New York.

Elsie K. Sulzberger

Elsie K. Sulzberger had an important public career through her leadership in the National Council of Jewish Women and in the early twentieth-century birth control movement.

Hilda Weil Stroock

Hilda Weil Stroock was a sponsor of the first Women’s Conference on Jewish Affairs held in 1938 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. This pioneering event reflected her lifelong interest in the welfare of women and children and the condition of the Jewish community.

Rahel Straus

Rahel Goitein Straus, a pioneering woman medical doctor trained in Germany, was a model “New Jewish Woman” of the early-20th century. Successfully combining a career as a physician with marriage and motherhood, she committed herself to Jewish and feminist causes and organizations throughout her life, while also embracing Zionist ideals.

Celia Strakosch

Celia Strakosch spent her career in social work in New York City and was involved in several organizations, including the Emanu-El Employment Bureau for Jewish Girls and the National Council of Jewish Women; in both institutions, she held leadership positions. During her decades of service, Strakosch focused especially on alleviating poverty among Jewish girls.

Edith I. Spivack

A leading member of the Law Department of the City of New York for seventy years, Edith Spivack served as a pioneer female lawyer and a role model for generations of women.

Constance Amberg Sporborg

Constance Amberg Sporborg was a career clubwoman who dedicated her life to the advancement of women’s rights, immigrant settlement, international organizations, and world peace. Working in New York City in the early twentieth century, Sporborg aided both Jews and gentiles.

Sophia Moses Robison

Sophia Moses Robison discovered her passion for social advocacy in college. Active in the National Council of Jewish Women throughout her life, Robison was also a published researcher and studied the economic impact of arriving refugees after World War II for the federal government. Her explorations into youth delinquency demonstrated the class and social biases in the reporting of delinquency.

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz defended human rights throughout the myriad conflicts of the twentieth century, from speaking out against fascism in the 1930s to participating in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in the 1980s.

Dorothy Reitman

A life-long Montreal resident, Dorothy Reitman is a distinguished community volunteer involved with organizations dedicated to women and Canadian Jews. She has received numerous awards honoring her as an advocate for women’s equality and empowerment, and in 1986 she became the first woman president of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Bertha Floersheim Rauh

Dedicating her life to ameliorating the condition of the poor, the oppressed, and the sick, Bertha Floersheim Rauh first worked for over twenty years as a volunteer and for twelve years as Director of the Department of Public Welfare of the City of Pittsburgh. She brought about many reforms in the public services sphere throughout her career and was highly regarded by her colleagues and the communities she served.

Bracha Ramot

Bracha Ramot, a specialist in internal medicine and hematology, made major contributions to the development of hematology in Israel and to research on the genetic differences of Jewish ethnic communities in Israel. Ramot was awarded the Israel Prize for Medical Sciences in 2001.

Rosalind Preston

Rosalind Preston is a leading British philanthropist and advocate for various Jewish and women’s groups. She was honored with the Order of the British Empire in 1993 for her service work in such groups as WIZO, the National Council of Women, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Inter Faith Network UK, and the Jewish Volunteering Network.

Virginia Morris Pollak

During World War II, sculptor Virginia Morris Pollak used her deep understanding of clay, plaster, and metal to revolutionize reconstructive surgery for wounded servicemen. This earned her a presidential citation, and she was later appointed to JFK’s Commission for the Employment of the Handicapped. Pollak also co-founded her own sculpture studio and chaired the Norfolk Fine Arts Commission, beautifying her hometown with an outdoor sculpture museum at the Botanic Garden.

Nora Platiel

The Russian Revolution of 1917 made a convinced socialist of Nora Block and inspired her to study law. After leaving Nazi Germany for France and then Platiel, Platiel returned home, eventually becoming the first woman director of a German district court and being elected for three terms in the Hessian State Parliament.

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Israel, 1948-2000

While the earliest women’s NGOs in Israel focused on contributing their share to nation-building, today’s organizations advocate and practice feminism. Over the past few decades, they have grown in number, modified their strategies, and raised new issues, yet hurdles continue to undermine their influence.

Blanche Cohen Nirenstein

Descending from a family active in Jewish communal life, Blanche Cohen Nirenstein further developed her leadership abilities in a wide range of social science activities. Nirenstein found a myriad of ways to help Jewish widows and needy children, from founding a kosher summer camp to supporting Holocaust survivors.

Shulamith Nardi

Shulamith Nardi helped shape relations between Jews and gentiles in the fledgling State of Israel through her writing and editing for several Zionist publications, her analysis of Jewish literature, and her work as advisor on Diaspora affairs to four Israeli presidents.

Marion Simon Misch

Marion Misch participated in a great number of volunteer activities through her lifetime, all the while running a successful business following the death of her husband. Her primary interests centered on education and Judaism, and her volunteerism reflected her concern for these issues.

Hephzibah Menuhin

Hephzibah Menuhin was a talented pianist and a dedicated human rights activist. After a successful international career performing with her brother Yehudi, Menuhin worked with her husband to assist the poor, the homeless, and the recently ill and served as president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Emma B. Mandl

Emma B. Mandl immigrated to the United States at age fifteen and helped found the Baron Hirsch Women’s Club, a major Chicago philanthropic organization. Through the club, where she served as president, Mandl created and led vital institutions for Jewish East European immigrants in Chicago, from orphanages to trade schools to tuberculosis wards.

Sadie Loewith

Sadie Loewith was an early twentieth-century teacher, businesswoman, active Republican Party worker, chairperson, organizer, and politician of high repute.

Johanna Loeb

Johanna Loeb’s philanthropic work extended to both Jewish and secular charities, such as the Home for Crippled Children, the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society of Chicago, the Home for the Jewish Friendless, and Chicago’s first Jewish Community Center. Her career not only strengthened the safety net for the disadvantaged throughout Chicago, but also illuminated the limitations and the potential that women’s philanthropic groups had in Jewish American society’s previously male-dominated community organizations.

Frieda Lorber

Frieda Levin Lorber made a name for herself as a prominent lawyer in the mid twentieth century and helped other women rise in the profession in New York and worldwide.


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