Rebekah Kohut’s Welcoming Address to the first convention of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Report of the Convention ‘Council of Jewish Women.’” The American Jewess, Volume 4, Issue 3, December 1896, p. 127.
…This working for our religion can be the only reason for our existence. In every corner of the earth you will find the Jew a patriot in the best sense of the word. The Jew knows no sectarianism in communal work. In matters philanthropic and educational we shall always join our Christian sisters, for this we need no organization; it is for a better knowledge of our history, our religion, and ourselves as Jews that this Council was called into life. Let us have a long and useful existence, let us labor for the preservation of our sacred heritage, until the whole family of Judah shall have become a blessing unto the Lord.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What did Rebekah Kohut see as the primary purpose of the creation of the National Council of Jewish Women?

2. What do you think Kohut means that the Jew is “a patriot in the best sense of the word”? Do you agree with her?

3. Do you agree with Kohut that Jewish women should or could always join Christian women in philanthropic and educational work? Why or why not?

Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)