Rebecca Gratz

Rebecca Gratz, a Jewish woman from Philadelphia who founded many organizations to help women and children.  The first one was the Female Assoc. for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances, which she founded with her mother and sister.  Then, still seeing need all around her, she founded the Fuel Society, The Sewing Society, The Philadelphia Orphan Asylum -and when she learned the orphans were all taught Christianity, she opened the first Jewish Orphanage in America, with Hebrew language and Hebrew Sunday School for kids gathered from all over the USA and Canada. She also found time to raise her 6 nieces and nephews after her sister died.  It’s rumored that the character Rebecca, a Jewish woman whose love of Christian Ivanhoe is doomed in Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe is based on Rebecca Gratz.