Rabbi Julie Schwartz: The U.S.’s First Female Military Chaplain – and the Associate Dean of HUC

Rabbi Julie Schwartz (middle), in uniform. Two men stand on either side of her. Four flags are behind them, including the U.S. flag.

The American Jewish Archives contains records of Jewish leaders serving as chaplains in the US military dating back to the Civil War; however, not until 1986 did the first commissioned active-duty female chaplain join such ranks. Cincinnati native Julie Schwartz was a student at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1985 when she received ecclesiastical approval from…

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The Bake Shop, Cincinnati

A pink menu from the bake shop listing items for sale alongside prices.

Founded in 1929, the Bake Shop, a Jewish bakery in Cincinnati, employed over thirty women in need of work. Funded by the United Jewish Social Agencies, the Bake Shop served the Walnut Hills and Avondale communities for upwards of forty years. Recipe cards from the Bake Shop, preserved at the American Jewish Archives, reveal Jewish…

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Two 19th-century ketubot

Two 19th-century ketubot. The first is from 1857 and is for the marriage of Solomon Joseph and Rebecca Abraham, both of Charleston, S.C. The other is from 1873 and is for the marriage of David Nieto and Esther Belasco—residents of Kingston, Jamaica.

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REBECCA GRATZ (1781-1869)

Black and white photograph of Rebecca Gratz.

Let’s discuss the sensational life and legacy of American Jewish educator and philanthropist Rebecca Gratz. Gratz was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she lived with her eleven siblings and her parents Miriam and Michael. In 1801 she established the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances which helped families affected…

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Black and white photograph of Golda Meir in a robe and seated in front of an Israeli flag.

Golda Meir was the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. She was born May 13th, 1898 in Kiev and immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1906. As a child she was drawn toward helping others; she once raised money for classmates who could not afford to purchase textbooks. Her parents were set on her getting married rather…

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Emma Lazarus: Writings and Philanthropy

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) wrote these words memorialized on the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus was born to a Jewish family in New York, near Union Square, on July 22, 1849. She held a strong classical education along with fluency in German and French.…

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Correspondence With R. Isaac Mayer Wise

On August 4, 1854, the renowned abolitionist and famous author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896), wrote a letter to Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819–1900) thanking him for sending her a copy of his recently published History of the Israelitisch Nation.  She wrote, “It is with some deep emotion that I receive from…

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