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National Council of Jewish Women Collection

 Collection
Identifier: RG E 0023

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of scrapbooks, correspondence, publications and photographs of of the many internal and community services and programs sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women in Houston.

Dates

  • 1913-1976 1945-1959
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1959

Access Restrictions

None.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the National Council of Jewish Women Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) first began in 1893 as an offshoot of the Jewish Women’s Congress that was held at the Chicago World’s Fair. The organization provided camaraderie and resources to Jewish women that were not available to them at the time elsewhere. In 1896, Jeanette Miriam Goldberg was appointed Vice President for the Texas Sections of the Council. Her main priorities for women were advancement through self-education and to discourage the trend toward assimilation.

The first section of the NCJW was formed in Tyler, Texas, in 1898 with a core group of seven women. The goals were formed as a response to the individualized-level of charitable care. They sought a broader approach that would address the needs of larger community.

Women’s groups such as the NCJW were subject to criticism from the more traditional rabbis who felt that these women in focusing on the needs of the community, would neglect their own families and lose their Jewish heritage. Despite this, throughout Texas several other sections were being formed. As Jeanette Miriam Goldberg worked in North and West Texas, another woman, Olga Bernstein Kohlberg set about providing volunteers to the El Paso section of the NCJW. Anna Hertzberg was organizing in El Paso and soon was appointed president of that section. In San Antonio, the NCJW was pivotal in assisting over 184 Eastern European Jewish immigrants settling in the U.S. and finding work.

Many of the sections made progressive and daring leaps during the 20th Century. The Waco section promoted birth control education in an effort that would evolve into community planned parenthood organizations. Greater access to birth control gave women more control over their lives, providing them with greater access to education and careers. By the 1970s, only 4 sections of the NCJW remained; Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The Greater Houston section of the NCJW continues to thrive. Their headquarters as of 2007 are located in the Meyerland neighborhood of Southeast Houston. They are still dedicated to public service and the preservation of Jewish heritage and traditions. Far from isolating themselves, their services and advocacy extend to the diverse communities of the Greater Houston area.

Reference: Weiner, H. A. & Roseman, K. D. (2007). Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas.

Extent

6 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)

Arrangement

Each page in the scrapbooks has been encapsulated separately for preservation purposes and then placed back into the scrapbook in its original order.

Oversize materials are stored in Box 5. These materials may be part of other series, but have been removed because they require appropriate housing.

The collection is organized into 11 series.

Missing Title

  1. Series 1: Publications
  2. Series 2: Events
  3. Series 3: Community Service
  4. Series 4: Jewish Community Center
  5. Series 5: Awards
  6. Series 6: Administration
  7. Series 7: Newspaper Clippings
  8. Series 8: Photographs
  9. Series 9: Scrapbooks
  10. Series 10: Membership
  11. Series 11: Oversize Materials

Acquisition Information

Donated by National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section President, Ann Reva Jacobsen, January 9, 1978.

Processing Information

Processed by Tammy Jordan, August 25, 2007.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository

Contact:

(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662