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Register of the Papers of

ROSE I. BENDER 1929-1946

1.5 ft.

MSS 20


Rose I. Bender was born in Philadelphia in 1895.  Her parents, Joseph and Rachel Magil, were Lithuanian immigrants and pioneer Zionists.  She was educated in the traditional Hebrew school and Gratz College, and began her lifelong work and dedication to the Zionist cause at an early age.

While still in high school, Rose I. Bender organized a club which developed into the first Young Judea club in the United States.  Later she taught in the Hebrew and Sunday Schools of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Bender joined Hadassah in 1927 and was very active in the group for many years.  She served as secretary and President of the West Philadelphia group and also as President of the entire Philadelphia Chapter for three years.  Mrs. Bender was elected to the National Board of Hadassah and served for seven years.  She was the chairwoman for Hadassah's national fundraising campaign from 1941 to 1942, but resigned the position to head the Woman's Division of the Allied Jewish Appeal, of which she had served as chairwoman and cochairwoman.

In the interest of Palestine, overseas relief, and the cause of the Jewish people in general, Mrs. Bender visited over eighty communities throughout the United States to speak before concerned groups.  Mrs. Bender was a delegate to the World Zionist Congress Held in Geneva, Switzerland, August 1939.  She represented the 22nd Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, December 1946.  She also was a delegate to the American Jewish Conference.

In October of 1945, Rose I. Bender became Executive Director of the Philadelphia Zionist Organization of America, the only woman at that time to hold such a high position in the organization.  Under her leadership the Philadelphia Zionist Organization had the largest membership of any city in the country and its fundraising campaign was considered the most successful.

The following is a list of the organizations of which Rose I. Bender was a member:

Adath Jeshurun Sisterhood

Allied Jewish AppealWomen's Division

American Jewish CongressWomen's Division

American ORT Women's Division

Associated Talmud Torahs of Philadelphia

B'nai B'rith


National Council of Jewish Women

United Palestine Appeal

Women's League of the United Synagogue

Zionist Organization of America

Mrs. Bender died in November 1964.


Gift of Maxwell Whiteman, 1973.


The Rose I. Bender Papers 1929-1946, include correspondence, clippings, and miscellaneous items relating to her activities in Hadassah, Zionist Organization of America, Allied Jewish Appeal, and other Jewish concerns such as the National Jewish Hospital, American Palestine Music Association, and the Palestine Pavilion of the 1939 World's Fair in New York.  Also included are notes and souvenirs of her attendance at the Zionist Congresses and other conventions.  The papers are divided by organization and arranged chronologically within each according to the record type.  The appendix lists the organizations of which Mrs. Bender was a member.

The box list of the register of the papers of Rose I. Bender is two pages long.