Skip to main content

Nathan, Maud

NATHAN, MAUD

NATHAN, MAUD (1862–1946), U.S. activist, suffragist, and president of the Consumer's League. The second of four children born to Annie Florance and Robert Weeks Nathan, Nathan descended from a line of Sephardi Jews in America that included Gershom *Seixas, the first ḥazzan in the New York Jewish community, poet Emma *Lazurus, and Benjamin *Cardozo, a United States Supreme Court Justice. Her sister, Annie Nathan *Meyer, founded Barnard College. Maud Nathan married wealthy financier Fredrick Nathan, a first cousin 19 years her senior, in 1879; their only child, Annette, died in 1895 at the age of nine. The loss of her daughter and a desire to become more involved in society led Nathan to join the board of directors of New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. She also volunteered as a teacher of English to immigrants at the Hebrew Free School Association and served as her synagogue's first sisterhood president. Expansion of her involvement outside the Jewish community soon followed as the Board of Exchange for Women's Work offered an opportunity to engage in politics. Nathan successfully lobbied the sponsors of a bill placing a high tariff on imported beads, arguing that it would increase the economic pressures already placed upon women doing needlework in their homes. Nathan was then contacted by Josephine Shaw Lowell, founder of the Consumer's League, who asked for her assistance in investigating the conditions under which women worked in retail stores, including bad sanitation and meager earnings. As president of the Consumer's League from 1897 to 1927, Nathan investigated the bad conditions experienced by women working in retail and encouraged consumers to patronize shops which provided decent environments and salaries for their workers. Nathan then became active in the women's suffrage movement, serving as president of the Fifteenth Assembly District of New York's Women's Suffrage Party (wsp). While her husband strongly supported her involvement, other family members, including her three siblings, disagreed with the suffrage platform. Undeterred, Nathan specifically targeted Jewish women, including recent East European immigrants, for involvement in wsp activities. Her efforts within Jewish and non-Jewish circles on behalf of women's rights won her the admiration of individuals such as Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters, who wrote the foreword to Maud's autobiography, Once Upon a Time and Today (1933). Nathan was also the author of Story of an Epoch-Making Movement (1926), about the Consumers League.

bibliography:

A. Kaufman. "Nathan, Maud," in: P.E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore, Jewish Women in America, 2 (1997), 967–68; L. Gordon Kuzmack. Woman's Cause: The Jewish Woman's Movement in England and the United States, 18811933 (1990), 144–45.

[Shira Kohn (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nathan, Maud." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nathan, Maud." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nathan-maud

"Nathan, Maud." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nathan-maud

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.