Texas A&M University Press.
Hardback with twenty-four archival photographs and illustrations.
Published April, 2008; available at Borders, Barnes &
Why would a service club with
a large membership, a comfortable bank balance, and a century-old
history disband? The
Jewish “Junior League”
answers the riddle as it tracks the evolution of American women’s clubs
from their 19th-century
origins as cutting-edge institutions to their latter-day image as staid
groups with plummeting rosters and members caught in a time warp.
Using as a case study the rise
and dissolution of the Fort Worth
section of the National Council of Jewish Women, this volume examines
the evolution from vanguard to rearguard of many American voluntary
explores issues and themes in 20th-century
women’s history and American ethnic history.
From its founding in 1901, the Fort
Worth Council of Jewish Women fostered integration of its members into
the social and cultural fabric of the broader community. It championed
social causes such as an Americanization school for immigrants and day
care centers for children of working women. The
Fort Worth Council was so successful that it prepared the way for its
own obsolescence. During the 1980s and 1990s, the ripple effects of the
Civil Rights movement found Council members breaking the glass ceiling,
assuming paid positions in the business and nonprofit worlds, and
leaving women’s clubs behind.
|NCJW Book Fair, early 1970s|
To research this lively,
provocative volume, Hollace Weiner has mined the records of the National
Council of Jewish Women at the local and national level, interviewed
surviving members, and examined ethnic newspapers, such as the
and the Texas Jewish Post.
The history of this one organization mirrors larger social changes
across United States.
|Americanization School, 1940|
Book Fair and Night School photos, Fort Worth
Star-Telegram Photograph Coll., Special Collections, The University
of Texas at Arlington Library.