Hurwitz Sisters: Rachel, Ella & Annie

In 1893, following the death of his wife Fannie Schoenbaum, Albert Hurwitz admitted his three Russian-born daughters — Rachel (5), Ella (7), and Annie (9) — to the Home from Montgomery, Alabama with the recommendation of the local B’nai B’rith lodge.

While in the Home, Ella distinguished herself for her intelligence, often capturing the attention of the local press. In 1900, at McDonogh School No. 14, she took part in a debate about the “Boer-British War” and recited a monologue. At the Home’s 1901 anniversary celebration, Ella earned the honor of delivering the welcome address, expressing her gratitude for the care she and her peers received while urging the creation of a school “wherein hand and eye can be trained, enabling us to enter any profession … so that grown to manhood and womanhood we shall be able with all our heart, to praise and to bless this our grand alma mater.” Ella’s plea was later answered, although she and her sisters were discharged to their father two years before the Home opened its Isidore Newman Manual Training School.

Rachel Hurwitz

Undated photo of Rachel Hurwitz, courtesy of Michael Kern, Ella Hurwitz’s great-nephew. Additional information about the Hurwitz sisters is available at