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Social Work

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Bernice Kazis

Bernice Kazis is a former teacher and social worker who dedicated much of her career to resettling Soviet Jews in the greater Boston area.

Andrea Waldstein

Andrea Waldstein is a Boston-based social worker and activist who worked internationally to support Soviet Jews, particularly women.

Enid Shapiro, 1925 - 2017

Enid Shapiro lived tikkun olam. She was an early feminist, a devoted Jew, an unceasing learner, and she made a difference in countless people’s lives through her devotion to repair the world and her commitment to kindness and care that came from a place of profound integrity.

JWA UK Logo

The Other JWA

by Emily Cataneo

JWA made a startling discovery recently: we have a doppelgänger. Okay, that’s not quite accurate. Perhaps it would be better to say that our URL, jwa.org, has a near-doppelgänger: jwa.org.uk. Who was this mysterious British JWA, we wondered?

Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah

Examine different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).

Josephine Stern Weiner

Josephine Stern Weiner’s lifetime of community service culminated in her creation of Women in Community Services (WICS), an umbrella organization that coordinated efforts between Jews and Christians, blacks and whites, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Jackie Gothard

A third-generation New Orleans native and the first female president of Congregation Beth Israel, Jackie Gothard worked tirelessly to restore the synagogue and bring the community back together.

Deena Gerber

As executive director of the Jewish Family Service, Deena Gerber helped survivors navigate New Orleans’s shattered infrastructure and access social services after the storm.

Jackie Gothard

The first female president of her childhood synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, Jackie Gothard helped the Orthodox synagogue rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

Deena Gerber

A seasoned social worker and executive director of Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, Deena Gerber helped residents put their lives back together in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Sandra Brown

A tireless leader of the Toronto Jewish community, Sandra Brown dedicated her volunteering career to improving Jewish schools.

Louise Waterman Wise

Louise Waterman Wise spent her career caring for Jewish refugees and lost souls of all kinds, from American orphans to Holocaust survivors.

Pearl Willen

Pearl Willen’s term as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1963–1967 capped a long career of community organizing from the local to the international level.

Miriam Finn Scott

Miriam Finn Scott, a child diagnostician and educator, believed that the key to child development was educating parents as much as children.

Alice Salomon

Alice Salomon was honored as one of the founding mothers of social work in Germany for both the direct service organizations she created and her role as founding president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work.

Etta Lasker Rosensohn

Etta Lasker Rosensohn devoted herself to social work from an early age, culminating in her work for Hadassah as one of the founders of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jersusalem.

Käte Rosenheim

As the tireless head of the Department of Children’s Emigration in the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, Käte Rosenheim managed to save over seven thousand Jewish children from the Nazis.

Sophia Moses Robison

Sociologist Sophia Moses Robison spent her career shattering stereotypes, from exposing the racial bias in labels of juvenile delinquency to debunking myths that immigrants were a drain on the economy.

Julia Richman

A polarizing and important social reformer, Julia Richman sought to better manage the massive influx of immigrants in New York by Americanizing the new arrivals as quickly as possible.

Cecilia Razovsky

Cecilia Razovsky found countless ways to help Jewish refugees, from writing plays and pamphlets that changed public opinion to running numerous committees and organizations for immigrant aid.

Bertha Floersheim Rauh

A social reformer ahead of her time, Bertha Floersheim Rauh initiated dozens of vital services and completely overhauled Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Welfare.

Lydia Rapoport

Lydia Rapoport’s contributions to crisis theory transformed how social workers and therapists handle crisis intervention.

Seraphine Eppstein Pisko

As executive secretary and vice president of the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver, Seraphine Eppstein Pisko was one of the first women to lead a national Jewish institution.

Rebecca Machado Phillips

Beyond mothering her many biological and adopted children, Rebecca Machado Phillips tended her community by founding soup kitchens and aid societies for the poor and sick.

Hellen Harris Perlman

Helen Harris Perlman pioneered the “Chicago School” of social work, arguing that many people in crisis needed short-term therapy and solutions rather than long-term Freudian analysis.
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