Forty-four years ago a noble and wise woman, Hannah Einstein, recognized that, excellent though the work of the various sisterhoods was in intention, wide in scope, generous in sentiment, it was not yet quite good enough. It lacked one essential thing to make it truly effective and that was: co-ordination. Thus Mrs. Einstein founded a Federation of Sisterhoods which should direct and guide the activities of the various groups, function as a clearing house for problems arising, prevent duplication of efforts and act in an advisory capacity in all educational, religious, and health questions facing the sisterhoods. Questions and problems the single group was not always able to answer as fully, as completely, and as effectively as a Federation with its greater resources of knowledge and information was likely to do.
That was the beginning of our present-day Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations, and although out of the seedling has grown an imposing tree, the living principle of its being has still remained the same. Federation is still not a money-raising organization but concerns itself solely with furthering all matters of communal, national, and international interest. In working through its four division: the Division of Education whose chairman is Mrs. Morris Jacoby; the Division of Health, chairman Mrs. A. Jack Davidson; the Division of Religion with Mrs. Nathaniel Levy as chairman; and the Division of Social Service, Mrs. Edward N. Mayer, chairman, Federation covers all possible activities of women’s organizations and vitally influences every phase of Jewish thought and effort.
That the series rendered by Federation is a necessary one and of the greatest importance in our cultural life is proved by the steady growth this organization is enjoying, a growth so constant that in giving actual numbers of constituent groups one risks being outdated by the next morrow. Today Federation comprises 240 organizations which have in themselves a membership of about 125,000 women. Tomorrow there will be others to avail themselves of the opportunities Federation offers to the individual groups, next month, next year a still larger membership will work under the guidance of Federation for Peace, Education, Charity and Social Welfare.
Federation will hold its fifteenth annual convention and celebrate the forty-fourth anniversary of its existence on January 30 at the Hotel Astor. More than 2,500 women are expected to attend, and all major problems, confronting the Jewish women of today, will be discussed not merely in an abstract and academic manner but in a vital and practical way, destined to bear beneficial results for the entire community. A worthy cause is always certain of Federation’s support and invariably this support has spelled success. To give a survey of the work done by Federation even only during the past year would by far exceed the space-limit of this page. It is enough to say that, thanks to Federation, the various organizations and their members have learned to work effectively in the community and for the community and thus, directly and indirectly, for the Jewish nation and for humanity. Officers of Federation are: Mrs. David E. Goldfarb, president; Mrs. Isaac Kubie, Mrs. A. Jack Davidson, Mrs. Moses Hyamson, Mrs. Emanuel Smalbach, vice-president; Mrs. Maxwell Ehrlich, recording secretary; Mrs. Leon Kamaika, treasurer; Mrs. Belle Sulzberger, financial secretary; Mrs. Morris Jacoby, corresponding secretary. The officers are assisted by a representative board of directors.