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#131 – Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman

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Michael Schwerner was one of three Congress of Racial Equality field/social workers killed in Philadelphia. Civil Rights activists were resented and held under suspicion by white Mississippians. Spies paid by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a taxpayer-funded agency, kept track of all northerners and suspected activists.

Andrew Goodman worked with Michael Schwerner too work on a project of the Congress of Racial Equality to register black people to vote in Mississippi.

You may find more information about the topic here.

#130 – Henry Moskowitz

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Henry Moskowitz was a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).1[Dr. Henry Moskowitz, co-founder of NAACP]

He was founding Executive Director of the League of New York Theatres which eventually became The Broadway League, the organization known for producing the Tony Awards.

In 1914, New York City mayor John Purroy Mitchel appointed him president of the Municipal Service Commission.

In 1917, he served as the Commissioner of Public Markets in New York City.


#129 – Jacob Schiff

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Jacob Schiff, along with H. B. Caflin, Marcellus Hartley, Robert L. Cutting, and Joseph Seligman, he was a founder of the Continental Bank of New York in August 1870. 1

In 1885, Schiff became head of Kuhn, Loeb & Company. Besides financing such Eastern railroads as the Pennsylvania and the Louisville & Nashville, he took part in the reorganization of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1896-1899, and at various time aided the American Smelting & Refining Company, the Westinghouse Electric Company, and the Western Union Telegraph Company.

What is Schiff’s most famous financial action was during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Schiff met Takahashi Korekiyo, deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, in Paris 1904. He subsequently extended loans to the Empire of Japan in the amount of $200M through Kuhn Loeb & Co. Schiff made this loan partly because he believed that gold was not as important as national effort and desire in winning a war, and due to the apparent underdog status of Japan at the Time. It is quite likely, as well, that Schiff saw this loan as a means of answering, on behalf of the Jewish people, the anti-Semitic actions of the Russian Empire.

#128 – Julius Rosenwald

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Julius Rosenwald provided funds to build six small schools in rural Alabama, which were constructed and opened in 1913 and 1914, and overseen by Tuskegee. As the projects were build and for African Americans, they showed Rosenwald’s intention to remain behind the scenes in this effort. 1 Inspired by the social progressivism of Jane Addams, Grace Abbott, Paul J. Sachs, and the Reform Judaism of Emil Hirsch and Julian Mack.

Over the course of his life, Rosenwald donated over $70M to public schools, colleges, universities, museums, Jewish charities, and African American Institutions. The rural school building program was one of the largest programs administered by the Rosenwald Fund. These schools became informally known as “Rosenwald Schools”.2

The YMCA in 1910 asked Rosewald to fund a proposal for a new building in Chicago; Roselwald replied that he would only contribute if a center for African Americans was also constructed.3 The result was the Wabash Avenue YMCA, opened in 1914, which would later become a historic landmark. The Wabash “Y” greatly aided blacks’ integration into Chicago during the Great Migration. It is still operating today.4

#127 – Stephen Wise

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In 1900, he was called as rabbi to Congregation Beth Israel in Portlant, Oregon. He attacked “many of the social and political ills of contemporary America.” In 1906, concerning another rabbinical appointment, Wise made a major break from the established Reform movement over the “question whether the pulpit shall be free or whether the pulpit shall not be free, and, by reason of its loss of freedom, reft of its power for good”;1 In 1907 he established his Free Synagogue, starting the “free Synagogue” movement.

Joining U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and others, Wise laid the groundwork for a democratically elected, nationwide organization of ‘ardently Zionist’ Jews, ‘to represent Jews as a group and not as individuals’.

In 1922, Wise was one of the founding trustees of the Palestine Endowment Funds Inc., along with Julian Mack.2

#126 – Jacob Billikopf

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Billikopf had a long and distinguished career in public service work. He served as the superintendent of the United Jewish Charities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Kansas City, Missouri, before becoming the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, chairman of the National Labor Board for the Philadelphia region during the first years of the new deal.

In 1907, Billikopf moved on to Kansas City, Missouri, where he became superintendent of the United Jewish Charities, while contributing to the establishment of public baths, night schools, a municipal loan agency, and free public legal aid.

In 1914, the NAACP recruited Billikopf and other Jewish leaders for its board.

In 1916, Billikopf was elected President of the National Association of Jewish Workers

In 1917, Billikopf left Kansas City and came to New York City where he became the executive director of the American Jewish Relief Committee which raised $20M for the aid of displaced European Jews after World War I

#125 – Lillian Wald

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Lillian D. Wald was an American nurse, a founder of American Community Nursing1, and founder of the Henry Street Settlement in New York City, while also being an early advocate of having nurses in public schools.

By 1893, she left medical school and started to teach a home class on nursing for poor immigrant families on New York City’s Lower East Side at the Hebrew Technical School for Girls. Shortly thereafter, she began to care for sick Lower East Side residents as a visiting nurse. Around this time, she coined the term “public health nurse” to describe nurses whose work is integrated into public community.”2

Wald advocated for nursing in public schools. Her ideas led the New York Board of Health to organize the first public nursing system in the world. She was the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing. She was the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing.

#124 – Joel Spingarn

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Politics is one of Springarn’s lifetime passions. In 1908, as a Republican, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1912 and 1916, he was a delegate to the national convention of the Progressive Party. At the first of those conventions, he failed his attempts to add a statement condemning racial discrimination to the party platform.

An influential liberal Republican, he helped realize the concept of a unified black movement by joining the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People shortly after founding and was one of the firest Jewish leaders of that organization, serving as a chairman of its board from 1913 to 1919, its reasurer from 1919 to 1930, and second president from 1930 until his death in 1930.1

Joel Springarn was also interested in gardening, and amassed the largest collection of clematis (250 species) and published the results of his research on the early history of landscape gardening and horticulture in Dutchess County, New York

#123 – Stanley Levison

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Stanley Levinson was a Jewish-American businessman and lawyer. A civil rights activist his entire life, he was a a good friend of Martin Luther King Jr., helping to write many of his speeches. Most notable was his work in drafting MLK’s most famous and iconic speech, “I Have a Dream.”

However, issues began to come up for Levison as he increased his profile. The FBI began monitored him for alleged Communist sympathies, and he began using Clarence Jones as a sort of middle-man in conducting his activies. Jones also assisted in the drafting of the “I Have a Dream” speech.


More resources:

15 Things You Might Not Know about the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech


Dangerous Friendship: Stanley Levison, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Kennedy Brothers (JSTOR)