Matters of Education

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The Power of The Purseread the article in its entirety

Subject:   Women and Philanthropy in the US, 1890-1915

Reading Level:   Adult / High School

Overview

This article explores the philanthropy of American Jewish women in the United States from 1890 to 1917, the time of mass migration of over 2 million Jews into this country. Much of this assistance was provided by the quarter million Jews who had been in the United States for a generation or more. The newcomers created their own support networks but my focus will be on the efforts of the established community. While primarily a response to genuine hardship, there was also a pervasive concern with “how would it look?” How would it make all Jews look? For as much as the Jews in the United States understood their own divisions by class, religion, culture and politics, they were aware that those in the mainstream society did not make such distinctions.

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