Jewish Junior Welfare League

The Jewish Junior Welfare League (JJWL) was founded in 1926 by 26 young ladies of upper class Jewish Montreal who were dedicated to the ideals of community service.  The League’s objectives initially were:

  1. To train and educate its members as able volunteers.
  2. To sustain by means of volunteer service and financial assistance a number of worthy projects needed by the community and the city.
  3. To keep the members enlightened on all issues within the scope of the social, economic and cultural welfare of the community.

Projects over the years included volunteering in hospitals, schools and developing recreational programmes for the young and old, healthy and sick.  The JJWL supported literacy at the Jewish Public Library and also volunteered time at institutions such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Douglas Hospital, Maimonides Hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Reddy Memorial Hospital.  Through fundraising efforts, the JJWL also helped to support the Jewish General Hospital, the Douglas Hospital, Foster Parents Plan, the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf and many more institutions. 

The League reached its zenith in the 1960s with a membership of 300.  By the mid-1970s however the changing role of women in Canadian society radically altered the League.  Their ranks became depleted as more women joined the workforce.  Additionally, many of the needs that the League supported and fulfilled were now addressed by government agencies.  The League was officially disbanded on June 19, 1984 at the annual meeting.

View the JJWL gallery below!

To view a description of the entire Jewish Junior Welfare League archival collection, please visit the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network: