Records of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, Women's Division
Scope and Content Note
The records in this subgroup belong to the Records of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, and document the creation, functioning, and demise of the Community's Women's Division. The materials of the entire collection span 1941-2000, with the bulk of the Women's Division's papers spanning from the 1960s through the 1980s. The majority of documents are in English, with some correspondence in French and Spanish, as well as a few papers in Hebrew.
Each series contains correspondence and other materials associated with the activities of each of the Presidents. This includes minutes of meetings, annual reports, budgets, papers related to planning of annual events, publications and clippings, membership lists, and financial papers. The majority of correspondence in all series constitute acknowledgements for donations or requests of donations and announcements and invitations to events. The rest of the correspondence documents various projects undertaken by Women's Division over the years, such as raising money for the Community, for the Sephardic Home for the Aged, and Misgav Ladach Hospital, establishing scholarships for students in Israel, and providing financial assistance to individuals and organizations.
The largest portion of documents is from the tenures of Emilie Levy and Irma Cardozo, who served several presidential terms. Of special interest in Series 6: Emilie Levy are papers related to the Sephardic Cookbook, written by Levy and published under the auspices of the Community. A large amount of correspondence in Series X: Irma Cardozo is devoted to the activities of the Committee for the Scholarship for Secondary Education in Israel, which Cardozo chaired for many years. Additional materials pertaining to Women's Division activities in the field of Sephardic Education can be found in Series VI: Mrs. Emilie Levy, Series IX: Mrs. Ruth Schulson, and in Series XI: Committee for Scholarship in Israel under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Henry Hendricks. Cardozo's records also include the largest amount of financial papers of the Women's Division.
For detailed information on each of the President see description of individual series. For information about the Men's Division of the Community see
Language of Materials
This collection is in English, French, Spanish, and Hebrew.
Open to researchers.
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact
American Sephardi Federation, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
The Women's Division of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America was organized in 1943, two years after the Men's Division organized under the leadership of Rabbi Dr. Nissim J. Ovadia. His wife Mrs. Mazal Ovadia was the Founder and the 1st President of the Women's Division (1943-1945). The Women's Division devoted its efforts to charity and Jewish and patriotic causes. During the war the Women's Division was engaged in Red Cross work and the sale of war bonds. It aided the Hebrew education of Sephardi youth with scholarships and prizes, and assisted Israel by participating in the rescue work of Youth Aliyah, and with the sale of Israeli bonds. The Women's Division assisted Sephardi communities abroad with food, clothes, and drug packages, and made contributions to the Rabbinical College of the World Sephardi Federation.
Women's Division activities focused primarily on charities and raising money for the Community and for various Jewish causes. The Women's Division organized yearly benefit luncheons honoring a well-deserved member of the Board of Directors, and issued a yearly journal. The woman of the Community raised large sums of money towards establishing the Sephardic Home for the Aged, which the Men's Division sponsored. In 1985-1988 the Women's Division raised money for the new Misgav Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem.
One of the priorities of the Women's Division activities was always education in Israel. The Committee for Scholarship for Secondary Education established many scholarships for institutions and individual students, first under the chairmanship of Mrs. Rosalie Hendricks, and since 1983 under the leadership of Mrs. Irma Cardozo. During the presidential term of Mrs. Lucy Touriel and Mrs. Rachel el-Hassid a scholarship of rabbinical students was established at Lady Judith Montefiore College in London, England, in memory of Dr. Nissim J. Ovadia. Under Mrs. Emily Levy's tenure many scholarships were awarded to qualified students in Israel in memory of Simon Nessim, past President of the Community. A scholarship at Yeshiva University for Sephardic Studies Program was established in tribute to Dr. Isaac Alcalay, Chief Rabbi of the Community. Under the tenure of Mrs. Ruth Schulson scholarships were awarded at Stern College for Woman, at the school for Blind (Kerem Or), and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University in the Negev in honor of Haham Dr. Solomon Gaon.
Another endeavor of the Women's Division was the cookbook Sephardic Cooking written by Emilie Levy with the help of Mrs. Fortuna Roth, Mrs. Gloria Kirchheimer (Levy's daughter) and Mrs. Irma Cardozo. In 1988, after the Women's Division made substantial profit on Sephardic Cooking, the project was turned over to Levy so that she could handle the sales on her own and benefit from the proceeds.
In 1989 the Women's Division merged with the men under the name"Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, Inc.” under the presidency of Cardozo. She served for more than 10 years in this capacity. At the end of 1996, after the Community could not continue to function properly anymore, it was decided to liquidate the organization and to divide the money amongst the schools, institutions and synagogues that the CSJCA supported for many years.
Succession of Presidents of the Women's Division:
- Mrs. Mazal Ovadia
- Mrs. Lucy Touriel
- Mrs. Rachel El-Hassid
- Mrs. Lucy Touriel
- Mrs. Julia Politi
- Mrs. Lucy Touriel, Mrs. Rachel El-Hassid, Mrs. Lydia Emmanuel
- Mrs. Fanny Angel
- Mrs. Flora Behar
- Mrs. Emilie Levy
- Mrs. Mathilde Emmanuel
- Mrs. Mathilde Emmanuel, Mrs. Shirley Elias and Mrs. Blanche Altchek
- Mrs. Emilie Levy
- Mrs. Ruth Schulson
- Mrs. Emilie Levy
- Mrs. Irma Cardozo
- Mrs. Irma Cardozo (President of CSJCA, Inc.)
5.4 Linear Feet
The records in this subgroup belong to the Records of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, and document activities of the Community's Women's Division. The materials include correspondence, minutes of meetings, annual reports, budgets, records related to planning of annual events, publications and clippings, membership lists, financial papers, and photographs. See Guide to the Records of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America.
This subgroup is organized in 12 Series:
- Series I: Mrs. Mazal Ovadia, 1942-1945
- Series II: Mrs. Lucy Touriel, 1947-1955
- Series III: Mrs. Julia Politi, 1956-1957
- Series IV: Mrs. Lucy Touriel, Mrs. Rachel El-Hassid, Mrs. Lydia Emmanuel, 1958
- Series V: Mrs. Fannie Angel, 1960
- Series VI: Mrs. Flora Behar, 1961-1963
- Series VII: Mrs. Emilie Levy, 1963-1998
- Series VIII: Mrs. Mathilde Emmanuel, 1969-1971
- Series IX: Mrs. Mathilde Emmanuel, co-president with Mrs. Shirley Elias and Mrs. Blanche Altchek, 1971-1973
- Series X: Mrs. Ruth Schulson, 1977-1981
- Series XI: Mrs. Irma Cardozo, 1983-2000
- Series XII: Committee for Scholarship for Education, under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Henry Hendricks, 1958-1983
- Series XIII: Photographic Materials, undated, 1941-1997
The American Sephardi Federation aquired the records by gift from Congregation Shearith Israel, Ruth Hendricks Schulson, and Irma Cardozo.
- Altchek, Blanche
- Annual reports
- Behar, Flora
- Cardozo, Irma, 1924-
- Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, Women's Division
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- El-Hassid, Rachel
- Elias, Shirley
- Emmanuel, Lydia
- Hendricks, Rosalie
- Levy, Emilie
- Minutes (administrative records)
- New York (N.Y.)
- Ovadia, Mazal
- Politi, Julia
- Publications (documents)
- Schulson, Ruth
- Touriel, Lucy
- Guide to the Records of the Central Sephardic Jewish Community of America, Women's Division, 1941-2000 ASF AR-2
- Processed by Inna Giter and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
- © 2002.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from csjca_wd02-02.xml
- September 2004.: Converted to ead 2002. Revised as csjca_wd02.xml by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. Removed deprecated elements and attributes, updated repository codes, added language codes, changed doctype declaration, etc.
- March 2005.: Additonal access points added by Dianne Ritchey Oummia.
- January 2006.: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.