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Jewish Welfare Board Uniform
Division of Military History & Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Jewish Welfare Board Uniform

Catalog #: 1998.0165.0113    Accession #: 1998.0165
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 32" H x 20" W x 20" D

Physical Description

Olive green/gray coat with gold-colored buttons and a patch on the upper left sleeve. Matching skirt, gathered at the waist in the rear, closes with snaps. A cloth band reinforces the waist, two patch pockets are on the front. The collar is made of white cotton, with three button holes to permit attachment of the collar to the matching shirt.

General History

The Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) was organized shortly after America’s entry into World War I, consolidating religious groups in the Jewish community to become an official agency to work with the War Department through its Commission on Training Camp Activities. It was modeled after the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the Knights of Columbus, and other organizations that in World War I adapted military-like uniforms for women and men volunteers. The JWB built buildings and stocked libraries on army installations and distributed books, articles, Bibles, and prayer books supplied through its affiliation with the Jewish Publication Society. It established community branches in the “second line of defense,” by supporting Jewish workers in the shipyards, arsenals, and other military plants and factories, as well as hospitals and universities where the government had taken over under military regulations. Following the Armistice, under direction of the Navy Department, the JWB’s transferred its peacetime work to veteran’s hospitals and enlarged Jewish community centers.


Country: United States
War: World War I
Service: Support Organizations
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