Women's Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) uniform from World War I, consisting of hat, coat, shirtwaist, tie, skirt, and insignia. Coat and skirt are olive green wool gabardine, shirt is white dimity, hat is blue cotton, and tie is blue silk. Metal "U.S." insignia on coat lapel and cloth "J.W.B." patch with Star of David background on shouler and hat. Donated by the Jewish Welfare Board through The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
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 transferred its peacetime work to veteran’s hospitals and enlarged Jewish community centers.
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