This collection contains materials relating to the Emanu-El Residence Club for single, working Jewish women. Among the records
are correspondence, minutes, bylaws, photographs, reports, agendas, calendars of events, surveys, financial information, organizational
histories, membership lists, scrapbooks of clippings, reports of head social workers Ethel Feineman and Mary Michels, and
The Emanu-El Sisterhood for Personal Service was founded in 1894 as a neighborhood center and settlement house. Within a year
it offered employment assistance, relief, sewing classes, a Working Girls' Club, a boys' club, and bible classes for the Eastern
European Jewish community in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. Its first officers included Bella Lilienthal, Mrs.
J. Voorsanger, Mrs. M.S. Eisner, Hannah Gerstle, Georgie Davis, and Victoria Lilienthal. Matilda Esberg was also among the
founders. Incorporated in 1902, its mission was "to develop and secure personal service on the part of its members in all
human enterprises and in elevating the moral standard of the people, improving the condition of their homes, teaching them
self-reliance and self-respect, promoting their moral and mental education, and developing technical skill among the young
of both sexes." In 1903, the Sisterhood opened a medical clinic that eventually merged with Mt. Zion Hospital. The 1906 earthquake
and fire devastated the South of Market area and many Jews relocated to the Fillmore-McAllister district; a new Emanu-El settlement
house opened on Golden Gate Avenue. In 1910, Emanu-El Sisterhood President Matilda Esberg conceived the idea of opening a
boarding house for single women who did not have families in the area due to death or migration. Ethel Feineman was director
from 1915 to 1937. Within a decade demand for such housing was so great that the Sisterhood decided to build a residence club
that could house 60 to 70 young working women and students. Designed by Julia Morgan and Dorothy Wormser, the edifice was
built at Page and Steiner streets. At the same time that the Sisterhood decided to focus on housing needs, other organizations,
such as the YM/WHA, were increasingly capable of fulfilling the social and recreational needs of the Jewish community. As
the Sisterhood transitioned into residential services it discontinued its settlement house programs. From 1923 until it was
sold in 1969 to the Zen Center, Emanu-El Residence was home to thousands of young women. While about three-quarters of its
population in the '20s spoke Yiddish, by the 1960s many non-Jews were living at the Residence. Mary Michels was director from
1945 to 1969.
12.4 linear feet:
10 cartons, 5 boxes, 2 oversize boxes
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The
Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright
owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
Collection is open for research.