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Hillel Honoring IJWO

In the year 1947, a small group of young women felt a great need for raising the standard of health and education among Jewish women and children. They established a committee, which was later named the Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran.

The organization was initially conceived by two young Jewish women who, in the course of six months, enlisted the efforts of other members of the Jewish Community to participate. The Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran was founded by ten women who faced all kinds of obstacles with tolerance and diligence.

The following is a summary report of the accomplishments of the Jewish Ladies Organization from 1947 to 1979 in Iran:

  1. Establishment of English, Hebrew, sewing, and first aid classes for adults.
  2. Assistance offered to refugees of the Second World War, and Red Cross in emergency accidents, earthquakes and floods.
  3. Supervision and participation in the daily food services of the Alliance School in Tehran.
  4. Establishment of two day care centers in Tehran and eventually, in the provinces of Shiraz, Esfahan, Hamedan, and Arak, under the supervision of local chapters of the Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran.
  5. Financial aid to "Kanoon Kheyr-khah Hospital."
  6. Participation in non-military defense programs.
  7. Affiliation with the International Council of Jewish Women and with the High Council of Iranian Women Organization.
  8. Establishment of classes to train nursing aids, which later was transferred to "Kanoon Kheyr-khah Hospital. "
  9. Establishment of teachers training courses for the day care centers with the financial assistance and help of the American Joint Distribution Committee.
  10. Establishment of health organizations for mothers and children at Cyrus and Gorgan Avenues.
  11. Organization of annual seminars for representatives of the provinces and local committees affiliated with the Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran.
  12. Establishment of literacy classes for adults and children.
  13. Cooperation with the school of social work in offering practical training courses for their students at the day care centers.
  14. The continual campaign to gain the rights of Iranian Jewish Wives and daughters. Appeals were made to local and Israeli authorities and contacts were made through several Jewish Women Congresses in different countries of the world over sixteen years. This mission finally became fruitful during the parliamentary representation of Yousef Cohen.
  15. Graduate nurses sent to England for higher studies.
  16. Graduate students sent to the United States through the National Council of Jewish Women to pursue a one year course in early childhood education. Such graduates later became consultants at the day care centers.
  17. Scholarships and loans offered to eligible needy students.
  18. Publication of two prayer books "Niayeshe Zane Yahudi." These were the first prayer books for women in Persian and can still be seen in use by some Persian women in the United States.
  19. The establishment of classes for mentally handicapped children.
  20. Fund raisings through garden parties and banquets.
  21. Establishment of a temporary thrift shop twice a year, in order to collect items for needy people.
  22. Publication of a seasonal bulletin, reflecting the activities of the organization.
  23. Organization of educational tours to different parts of the country.
  24. For the first time in Iran, group Bat Mitzvah ceremonies held for 89 girls at day care centers.
  25. Visits by national and international celebrities, including such luminaries as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, at day care centers.
  26. Participation and demonstration of a sample day care center in the 1961 International Fair of Women's Activities, which was visited by her majesty the Queen Farah Pahlavi.
  27. The establishment of the Young Jewish Ladies Organization affiliated with the Iranian Jewish Ladies Organization.

Some years after the 1978 revolution, a group of young women residing in Tehran established a new board of directors for the Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran. They have reorganized the day care centers and have been able to take over the properties in Cyrus and Aryamehr Avenues. This group has been able to arrange lectures and meetings for women as well. The Iranian Jewish Women's Organization of Southern California has established contacts and has offered support to the new committee in Tehran.

The Organization was founded during the summer of 1976 by a group of Iranian women residing in Los Angeles, with the encouragement of two board members of the Jewish Ladies Organization of Iran who were visiting Los Angeles at the time. The intention was to preserve ties with their Jewish and Iranian heritage as well as to have their own charitable, social and cultural role. The activities of this organization have always been planned to fulfill such intentions.
The Iranian Jewish Women's Organization of Southern California is an independent organization, although it is still affiliated with the National and International Council of Jewish Women. This organization is not financially dependent on any other organization, and relies solely on fund raising to support the charitable work described in this report. Iranian Jewish Women's Organization has been established as a non-profit social and charitable organization.
Our activities have varied due to the changing needs of our people and the community in Los Angeles.