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Belle Moskowitz

(1877 - 1933)

Born in Harlem, Moskowitz trained to become a drama teacher.  Her work at the Educational Alliance, a Jewish Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was the beginning of her long and successful career in public service.  Working for the National Council of Jewish Women, she pushed for licensing and regulation of New York's commercial dance halls. When her husband died suddenly in 1911, Moskowitz went to work to support her three children but continued her reform volunteer efforts. In 1914, she married Henry Moskowitz, a progressive reformer with whom she shared many interests.  Their support of Al Smith in the governor's race of 1918 won her a position on a state commission and she continued to wield tremendous political power as an adviser to Smith on policymaking and publicity.  During Smith's 1928 presidential race, Moskowitz served as the only woman on the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee.

Sources: Jewish Women's Archive