Calling All “Y” Girls!

1941 Issue of the YWHA NewsThe on-going efforts of making the JPL Archives more accessible through digitization has borne some wonderful fruit yet again.  The gals of the former Young Women’s Hebrew Association, which married the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in 1950 after a long engagement, left behind some wonderful issues of their Y.W.H.A. News.  The JPL Archives has now digitized issues of the newspaper ranging in date from 1940-1948.  Sadly, a full run wasn’t preserved in one place but we are diligently on the hunt for issues that may be lurking in former ‘Y’ girls’ homes.  Do you have old issues?  Contact us right away! 

To access the digitized issues of the newspaper, search for “YWHA News” through the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network,  And now, submitted for the dear reader as a taste, a reprint of Minnie Cohen’s Y.W.H.A. News article entitled, “Why I Joined the ‘Y’”:

Minnie Cohen

You are probably not interested in why I, as an individual, joined the ‘Y’.  Why should you be?  Could I but convey to you the fact that, will all due modesty, I represent the average Jewish girl, with no especial talent, unless there is some hidden, of which I am unaware, and with inclination toward certain educational and athletic fields, your interest might be aroused?

Several of my friends had joined the ‘Y’ a year ago.  I did not do so at the time.  Whenever we met, conversation always ran along ‘Y’ line, and about various activities in which they participated.  Their enthusiasm ran high.  One friend discovered she had acting ability, while another, who dabbled in paints occasionally, found out that the Art Courses at the ‘Y’ brought out the best in her.  Still another, athetically minded, chattered incessantly about her chances of making the Basketball team.

During the long winter nights, while I sat at home reading, or knitting, for lack of anything better to do, these girls could be found at the ‘Y’, participating in whatever activity they were most inclined, from gym classes and basketball practices to home nursing, cooking and sewing courses or to public speaking, debating or other educational activities.

Besides uncovering hidden talent in these girls, and keeping them physically and mentally fit, the ‘Y’ has improved their social relationship, acting as a stimulus.

Who knows, had I joined the ‘Y’ last year with my friends, I might by this time be a budding author, since I have a tendency for writing, or perhaps I might have been a badminton champion, for I always professed a liking for the game.

I agree with the ‘Y’ in their motto that it is never too late to join, and that is exactly what I have done.  I am now one of the hundreds of members of the “Y.W.H.A”.


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