National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section

Meeting Invite for the Louisville Section of National Council of Jewish Women, 1906.

Meeting reminder for the December 1906 General Meeting of the NCJW

Letter from Julia S. Genzburger, October 18, 1908

October 18, 1908 letter from the NCJW’s Chairman of the Committee on Religion, Julia S. Genzburger, asking to use the Temple’s Assembly Hall to conduct religious instruction for “the children of the West End and of the East End.”

National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section

The National Council of Jewish Women was founded by Hannah Solomon in Chicago in 1893 as a vehicle for Jewish women’s progressive action. Solomon founded the council to advance social change after a group of Jewish women she recruited to work at the Chicago World’s Fair was assigned menial hostess duties.

Rebecca R. Judah formed Louisville’s chapter of the NCJW in May 1896, and the group immediately began cooperating with existing organizations within and without the Jewish community. Early work included both religious and social justice initiatives: increasing attendance at Sabbath School and Temple services, beginning Bible study circles, and maintaining assistance for the Kindergartens at Neighborhood House and the Temple. The group also maintained public baths, like the one pictured below, and made garments for surgeons serving in the Spanish-American War.

As the twentieth century began, the group solidified its social work by joining the Conference of Social Workers. Projects included establishing a Continuation School by providing a teacher for girls working in a department store, helping provide penny lunches in public schools, and collaborating with other organizations to establish an Employment Bureau for women at the Business Women’s Club.

The NCJW, Louisville Section continues its advocacy work today. In 2018, the group founded the Jefferson Family Recovery Court, a voluntary court-supervised program designed to reunite families struggling with dependency.

Voices for Reform
National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section