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Schoolman, Bertha S.


SCHOOLMAN, BERTHA S. (1897–1974), U.S. Zionist leader. Bertha Schoolman, who was born in New York City, studied at Hunter College and at the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. From 1919 to 1923 she taught at the Central Jewish Institute, and from 1922 to 1946 she was a director of children's summer camping. Her Zionist activity brought her appointments to the national board of Hadassah in 1935 and the World Zionist Actions Committee from 1937. During over 30 years of Hadassah work, Bertha Schoolman held national offices, including secretary (1940–41), vice president (1941–43), and national chairman of Youth Aliyah (1956–60).

Her husband, albert schoolman (1894–1980), educator, was born in Lithuania. He headed the Central Jewish Institute of New York, the first American Jewish community center with an educational focus. In 1919 Schoolman established the Cejwin Camps, the first system of Jewish educational camps in the United States, with which he remained actively associated. Schoolman was president of the National Council for Jewish Education and a founder of the American Association for Jewish Education. Schoolman's educational philosophy was rooted in the Reconstructionist view of Judaism.

[Leon H. Spotts]

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