WRONSKY, SIDDY (1883–1947), expert in social welfare and social pedagogy. Born in Berlin, she was an influential figure in bringing about the professionalization of social work in Germany and Palestine. She began her training as a teacher and specialized in Heilpaedagogik, working as a volunteer in a school for developmentally disabled children. In 1908 she became the director of the Archiv fuer Wohlfahrtspflege, and she also served as co-editor of the prestigious journal Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Wohlfahrtspflege. She taught at the social work training school that was founded by Alice Salomon, the Soziale Frauenschule, in Berlin, as well as at the Deutsche Akademie fuer soziale und pädagogische Frauenarbeit. Through her writing and teaching, she introduced new and modern methodologies for the treatment of welfare recipients through an emphasis on individualized care.
In addition to her role in German social welfare, she was also a centrally important figure in Jewish social welfare after World War I. She became a member of the board of the newly founded Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der deutschen Juden (Central Welfare Bureau of German Jews) and served on a variety of its commissions dedicated to reforming Jewish social welfare. Wronsky became a Zionist through her work with East European refugees in Berlin during World War I and helped found a Zionist women's organization. In 1933, she was dismissed from her positions and fled to Palestine shortly thereafter. In Palestine, she worked in the social department of the Va'ad Le'ummi and founded the first social work education school, the Sozialschule Jerusalem of the Va'ad Le'ummi. She died in 1947, shortly before the founding of the State of Israel.
Her major works include Leitfaden der Wohlfahrtspflege (with Alice Salomon, 1921); Methoden der Fuersorge (1930); and Sozialtherapie und Psychotherapie in den Methoden der Fürsorge (1932).
F.M. Konrad, "Paradigmen sozialpaedagogischer Reform in Deutschland und Palaestina. Zur Erinnerung an Siddy Wronsky (1883–1947)," in: Soziale Arbeit, 36 (1987), 459–67.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.