Once Upon a Time…06.03.2016

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church by email at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

1989028004Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  June 3, 2016

PastPerfect Accession #:  1989.028.004

Status: Partially Identified! The gentleman wearing glasses with his head turned is Sol Yatt. Harold Yatt is also in the photo – do you recognize anyone else at this meeting of the B’Nai Abraham and Yehuda Laib Family Circle, which took place at Greenhaven in Pasadena, MD, 1944?

Thanks to: Rebecca Tucker and other BAYL members

 

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Ten in the Twentieth: Baltimore Jews and Social Justice 1970s

Posted on February 27th, 2017 by

Article by Dr. Deborah R. Weiner. Originally published in Generations 2009-2010: 50th Anniversary Double Issue: The Search for Social Justice.

The Baltimore Jewish community has produced many leaders who have worked to make the world a better place. The range of issues they have addressed is impressive: from women’s suffrage to civil rights, labor relations to helping the elderly, refugee resettlement to eliminating poverty, and much more.

This chronology traces the careers of ten Baltimoreans who stood up for social change, with each person’s entry revolving around a turning point—one for each decade of the twentieth century. This is by no means a “Ten Best” list. The people included here are remarkable for what they accomplished, but others, equally remarkable, could have been chosen as well. These profiles should be seen as representative of a larger group of Baltimore Jews who have made major contributions to their communities and to the broader society in myriad ways.

The 1970s: Harry Greenstein

Click here to start from the beginning.

1971: Harry Greenstein (1895-1971) dies, marking the end of an era in Baltimore’s Jewish communal history. Head of the Associated for almost four decades, Greenstein was a major player in international welfare work who always returned home to Baltimore after his relief missions.

Harry Greenstein (right) and William Bein (left) JDC Director for Poland, standing on rubble of Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, 1949. JMM 1971.20.214

Harry Greenstein (right) and William Bein (left) JDC Director for Poland, standing on rubble of Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, 1949. JMM 1971.20.214

After helping organize the YMHA and serving as president, Greenstein became executive director of the Associated in 1928 and served until 1965. During his tenure, the organization changed dramatically to meet the needs of the Jewish community. Services relocated from downtown to northwest Baltimore, agencies consolidated, and present-day institutions such as Levindale, the JCC, and Sinai Hospital took shape.

Greenstein’s local achievements were all the more remarkable considering that he was frequently “loaned out” by the Associated to state, federal, and international agencies, where his impact was substantial. Appointed Maryland’s first relief administrator in 1933, he set up the state’s public welfare structure. In 1939, with European Jewry in crisis, he prepared a report for American Jewish leaders which FDR termed a “model of constructive absorption of immigrants” and led to the creation of the National Refugee Service. For the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, he helped design and administer plans for helping Europe recover from World War II. Appointed advisor on Jewish affairs to the U.S. Army of Occupation in Germany and Austria in 1949, he was instrumental in liquidating the displaced persons camps and resettling Holocaust survivors.

 Harry Greenstein (right) and General Lucius D.Clay (left) as General Clay welcomes his newly appointed Advisor on Jewish Affairs, in his Frankfurt, Germany headquarters, February 15, 1949. JMM 1985.174.4

Harry Greenstein (right) and General Lucius D.Clay (left) as General Clay welcomes his newly appointed Advisor on Jewish Affairs, in his Frankfurt, Germany headquarters, February 15, 1949. JMM 1985.174.4

The title of Greenstein’s biography, “Justice, Not Charity,” exemplified his approach to welfare work. Communal leader Paul Cordish captured his impact when he called Greenstein “the personification of the collective conscience of our community.”

Continue to The 1980s: Ruth Wolf Rehfeld

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Ten in the Twentieth: Baltimore Jews and Social Justice 1960s

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by

Article by Dr. Deborah R. Weiner. Originally published in Generations 2009-2010: 50th Anniversary Double Issue: The Search for Social Justice.

The Baltimore Jewish community has produced many leaders who have worked to make the world a better place. The range of issues they have addressed is impressive: from women’s suffrage to civil rights, labor relations to helping the elderly, refugee resettlement to eliminating poverty, and much more.

This chronology traces the careers of ten Baltimoreans who stood up for social change, with each person’s entry revolving around a turning point—one for each decade of the twentieth century. This is by no means a “Ten Best” list. The people included here are remarkable for what they accomplished, but others, equally remarkable, could have been chosen as well. These profiles should be seen as representative of a larger group of Baltimore Jews who have made major contributions to their communities and to the broader society in myriad ways.

The 1960s: Rosalie Silber Abrams

Click here to start from the beginning.

1966: Rosalie Silber Abrams (1916-2009) is elected to the Maryland House of Delegates; she becomes a state senator four years later. During her productive eighteen-year career in the legislature, she helps pass legislation focused on patient rights, child welfare, mental health care reform, environmental protection, and women’s rights.

Rosalie Silber Abrams. JMM 1984.37.1.9

Rosalie Silber Abrams. JMM 1984.37.1.9

Abrams’s legislative accomplishments included the creation of the state’s Health Service Cost Review Commission, a groundbreaking initiative to control hospital rates and enhance the quality of patient care. Selected Senate Majority Leader in 1979, she was the first woman to hold a major leadership post in the Maryland General Assembly and also became the first female chairman of the state’s Democratic Party. Abrams retired from the Senate to head the state Office on Aging in 1983, where she served until retiring in 1996.

Abrams (standing, left) at the signing of a bill she co-sponsored, c. 1971. Governor Marvin Mandel is seated at left. JMM 1983.8.17.1

Abrams (standing, left) at the signing of a bill she co-sponsored, c. 1971. Governor Marvin Mandel is seated at left. JMM 1983.8.17.1

Abrams grew up working in the popular East Baltimore bakery owned by her parents, Ike and Dora Silber. A graduate of the Sinai Hospital School of Nursing, she served as a nurse in the U.S. Navy before marrying and raising a family. Though she began her political career relatively late in life, her background in health care, confidence, and practical political skills gained her the respect of her colleagues and made her an exemplary advocate for health and welfare issues.

Continue to The 1970s: Harry Greenstein

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