Woman of the Century/Mary M. Cohen
COHEN, Miss Mary M., social economist, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 26th February, 1854. She is the daughter of Henry and Matilda Cohen, a prominent Jewish family. Henry Cohen was born in London, England, in 1810, came to the United States in 1844 and went into business in Philadelphia, where he died in 1879. He was identified with many Jewish and unsectarian philanthropic societies. Mrs. Cohen was born in Liverpool, England. She was a woman of fine musical and elocudonary talents and was prominent in charitable work. The daughter, Mary, studied in Miss Ann Dickson's private school in Philadelphia until she was fourteen years old, learning French, English, Latin and drawing She then went to Miss Catherine Lyman's school, where she continued her studies. After leaving school she took a course in literature under Professor Chase, and studied German for three years. From the age of seven she was taught in music by her mother until prepared for instruction from masters. She began to write short stories when she was thirteen years old. Her first printed essay, " Religion Tends to Cheerfulness," appeared in the "Jewish Index," and she has since been a prominent contributor to religious periodicals, both Jewish and Christian, writing under the pen-name "Coralie. " Her literary productions cover editing of letters of travel, biography, serial stories and religious articles and essays. She has prepared a number of important papers on Hebrew charities, on subjects of current interest and on social, literary and intellectual problems She has visited Europe three times and has filled a number of responsible positions in various philanthropic societies. She is a woman of great versatility, a talented author, an artist, a wood-carver, a stenographer and type-writer, and a successful teacher. She has served as the president of the Browning Club of Philadelphia, of which she was the founder, as the corresponding secretary of the Jewish Publication Society of America, as a superintendent of the Southern Hebrew Sunday-school, as president of the society under whose direction the schools are conducted, as a member of some of the lending literary and art clubs of Philadelphia, such as tin- Contemporary Club, the Fairmount Park Association, and as a member of the hoard of directors of the Pennsylvania MARY M. COHEN. Museum and School of Industrial Art. When the New Century Club was formed by the executive committee of the Women's Centennial Commission, after the Exposition of 1876 was closed, Miss Cohen became a member, and was subsequently elected to the executive board. For a year she had charge of the writing class organized by the New Century Guild, and for three years directed a Browning class. In November of 1888 that class developed into an independent society, which now has a membership of nearly six-hundred men and women, including some of the leading people of Philadelphia. In 1884 Miss Cohen was invited by Rev. Dr. H. L. Wayland, one of the directors of the American Social Science Association, to present to that organization a paper on Hebrew charities. The paper was read by its author before the convention held in Saratoga, N. Y., 12th September, 1884, was favorably received, discussed and published. Miss Cohen was elected a member of the association and placed in the social economy department. In the affairs of the Jewish community Miss Cohen has taken a strong interest and an active part. Receiving her religious inspiration from Rev. Dr. S. Morais, her love for the religion the history, the achievements and progress of the Jewish people has been deep and abiding. She taught the Bible class in the Northern Hebrew Sunday-school for a number of years. Miss Cohen was chosen to serve on the Philadelphia committee of the Columbian Exposition, in the department of social economy.