Sociologist Hoos dies at 94

Sociologist Ida Russakoff Hoos, who started the Jewish Vocational Services, died at age 94. Hoos, an early critic of relying on technology to study social issues, succumbed to pneumonia in a Boston hospital.Hoos was born in Maine and studied at Radcliffe during the Depression. In 1938 Ben Selekman, director of
Associated Jewish Philanthropies, hired her to start the Jewish Vocational
Services to create better employment opportunities for young women. “In those
days,” Hoos later recalled, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “there were companies who wouldn’t touch a
Jew.”Over the next four decades she served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National
Academy of Sciences, NASA, the Office of Technology Assessment and the
Energy Department.”I really think she was a bit before her time in recognizing that the
tools of systems analysis and cost-benefit analysis were a bit
overrated,” former student and John Hopkins professor Lynn Goldman told The Los Angeles Times. “She could see through many of the things
being done at the time and could pinpoint the variables that were left
out.”

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