Pisko, Seraphine Eppstein, 1861-1942
Seraphine Eppstein Pisko (1861-1942) was known for her charitable work in Denver, Colorado, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and she was most likely the first Jewish woman in America to head a national Jewish organization. She was born to Max and Bertha Eppstein on January 1, 1861, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and the family moved to Denver in 1875. She married Denver businessman Edward Pisko in 1878 when she was seventeen, and the couple moved to New York. Within a few years he died, and she returned to Denver. She never remarried, but raised five children. Seraphine Pisko served as president of the Hebrew Ladies' Benevolent Society and of the Denver Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). She later became vice president of the NCJW board at the national level. She began working at National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (NJH) as a field secretary, a fundraiser, in 1900, and in 1911 she became the executive secretary of National Jewish Hospital and served in that position until 1938 when she retired. Pisko was actively involved in both Jewish and secular social organizations, gaining national renown for her organizational strengths as well as her social efforts. She died in Denver in 1942.
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Overview Topics Covered: Family background and immigrating, growing up in Denver with 8 other siblings, Jewish community, working at the Jewish Community Center, nature of the Center’s work; mentions Isadore Rude, Bloomfield, Guldman, Pisko and many others; camp, loved working at the Center.
Dates: 1979 July 19