Publication details for Ms Jean SpenceSpence, J. (2004). Working for Jewish girls: Lily Montagu, Girls' Clubs and Industrial Reform 1890-1914. Women's History Review 13(3): 491-509.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0961-2025, 1747-583X
- DOI: 10.1080/09612020400200396
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
Lily Montagu was involved in youth and community work and religious ministry with the London Jewish community for over sixty years. In the early years of the twentieth century, she focused particularly on girls’ club work which she understood as a complement to the industrial life of the girls. She envisioned clubs as a means whereby girls could socialise safely, be helped to maintain their faith, organise around industrial conditions, engage in informal educational activities and improve their skills.
This paper considers the significance of Lily Montagu’s involvement in the girls’ club movement and in the efforts by middle class women to reform the conditions under which young working class women laboured. It will argue that the particularity of her Anglo-Jewish identity and the circumstances of the Jewish community enabled her to work towards an understanding of the potential of girls’ clubs which was much broader than that of many club workers of the time. Her work demonstrates the potential of a relationship between social and industrial reform which was lost as social work and trade unionism diverged along fault lines of gender.