Birmingham Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women
The Birmingham CJW hosted weekly study groups for members and joined in civic and philanthropic projects such as the establishment of the Temple Kindergarten in 1900. Later, under the leadership of Dorah Sterne the organization joined with the Birmingham Chapter of the American Association of University Women on efforts both local and international. Locally, the CJW lobbied against child labor and for prison reforms.
The group, with more than 200 members, became a powerful lobby. Sterne organized a landmark meeting for their group with officials of the Alabama Department of Corrections at Temple Emanu-El in March 1939.
In 1950 the group published a resolution condemning the bombing of Joel Boykins' home in Smithfield and urging the Birmingham Police Department to investigate and prosecute crimes against all residents equally.
Another prominent leader, Betty Loeb, served two terms as president of the Birmingham chapter and also on the national board of the CJW. Under her tenure the chapter grew to more than 600 members and campaigned effectively for voting rights while continuing to work on education, relief and public health projects locally. Members volunteered in schools and provided supplies and books. Some served as screeners for visual impairments, referring students with evident vision problems to Dr Ed Miles, who did not charge families who couldn't afford his services.
Her outspokenness landed Loeb a place in Asa Carter's "Rogue's Gallery" in The Southerner. She rallied sponsors to withdraw from Carter's radio program, leading to its cancellation. In the late 1950s she and her husband Robert organized the Birmingham Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and promoted its national pro-Civil Rights platform.
- "Council of Jewish Women Here Looks Back Over 41 Years Of Loyal Community Service" (October 30, 1938) The Birmingham News , quoted in Nail-2010
- "Jewish Women Adopt Resolution, Condemn Negro Home Bombing" (April 21, 1950) Birmingham Post-Herald
- Nail, Kaye Cochran (2010) "Birmingham's Jewish Women and Social Reform, 1880-1980" Master's thesis. UAB.