Private Funeral Held for Mrs. Warburg; Jewish Organizations Mourn
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Private Funeral Held for Mrs. Warburg; Jewish Organizations Mourn

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A private funeral was held today for Mrs. Frieda Schiff Warburg, one of the outstanding philanthropist and welfare leaders in this country, who died Monday at the age of 82.

Statements eulogizing Mrs. Warburg, widow of the late Jewish leader and philanthropist Felix M. Warburg and daughter of the late Jacob M. Schiff, were issued by major Jewish organizations in which she was active and to which she had made generous contributions during her lifetime. Messages of condolence were also received by the family from Israel.

Among Mrs. Warburg’s many contributions were: The former Warburg home on Fifth Avenue which now houses the Jewish Museum; a $100, 000 fund given to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1949 in memory of the late Dr. Judah L. Magnes for medical fellowships at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Hospital; a $500, 000 fund to support the Visiting Nurse Service of New York; and many very large gifts to the Joint Distribution Committee, the United Jewish Appeal and other Jewish organizations, concerned with overseas aid.

One of her larger contributions was made in February, 1951, to the United Jewish Appeal, when in addition to her regular gift of $150, 000 she added $500, 000 to be used for housing and education for new immigrants in Israel. She also contributed large sums to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York City, to Young Women’s and Young Men’s Hebrew Associations, and many other civic and charitable causes. Edward M. M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, is one of her surviving sons.

The United Jewish Appeal said in its message: “Frieda Schiff Warburg gave splendid expression to her love for her fellow-Americans and her fellowmen everywhere. Her never ceasing efforts to lift up Europe’s distressed and shattered Jews; and to rescue and restore refugee newcomers to this country and to Israel marked her as a true mother in Israel. The United Jewish Appeal knew her as one of its great benefactors, and as an honorary chairman in many of its campaigns. “

The Joint Distribution Committee, of which Mrs. Warburg was honorary chairman, stated: “Until her husband’s death, she served with tireless and inspiring devotion side by side with him in the cause of aiding the needy, particularly distressed Jews overseas; after her husband’s death, she continued her efforts in the tradition of philanthropy and humanitarianism which both her husband and her father represented. For more than 40 years we of the Joint Distribution Committee had the benefit of her wise counsel, her deep interest and great understanding; they will be sorely missed. “

The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies said: “The beloved and revered Frieda Schiff Warburg lives on in the countless things she touched with her wisdom, generosity, grace and warmth. She inherited a rich tradition of philanthropy from her parents; gave it new meaning, beauty and spirit, and in turn passed it on to her children and theirs. She walked side by side with her late husband, the great Felix M. Warburg, a founder and the first president of the Federation in helping to create in 1917 this network of medical and welfare agencies to serve as New York Jewry’s organized philanthropic expression. The millions whose lives have been benefited during these past four decades owe her a great debt of gratitude. She gave her inspiration and leadership to the activities of many Federation institutions on whose boards she served, and she was a founder of our Women’s Division and one of its guiding spirits throughout the years. She will be deeply missed but never forgotten. “

The American Jewish Committee declared: “For more than half a century, together with her eminent father, her distinguished husband and her communally minded sons and daughter, she was exemplary in her devotion and service to the cause which the American Jewish Committee exposes. She leaves an indelible imprint on the philanthropic horizon of America.”

The Jewish Agency for Israel, expressing its “profound sorrow and regret” at the passing of Mrs. Schiff, said: “She devoted her lifetime to the service of her fellow-man and particularly to the upbuilding of Israel as a haven for oppressed and downtrodden Jews. Her many benefactions and services in Israel will enshrine her noble name in the history of the Jewish people. “

The National Board of Hadassah, emphasizing that Mrs. Warburg served unceasingly in behalf of Jewish causes in this country and abroad, stated: “She did much toward easing the manifold tasks of Youth Aliyah for the rescue of Jewish children from persecution in European and North African countries, and their rehabilitation in Palestine and Israel. And her deep interest in advancing medical science in Israel manifested itself in the creation of the Magnes-Warburg Fellowship Fund to enable physicians and scientists of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School to pursue post graduate studies in the United States. Her great humanitarian spirit was an inspiration to all who knew her. “

Messages of condolence were sent also by: American Technion Society, American Friends of the Hebrew University, Palestine Economic Corporation and a host of other organizations and institutions.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund