The Jewish community of Providence in 1897 numbered approximately 1,200 families. The majority were very recent immigrants, Yiddish speaking, struggling to find a place in their new home.
To ease their transition to American life, they formed self-help organizations to augment the community structure already in existence. Among these organizations were women's groups dedicated to good works. In time each organization developed a particular purpose and niche in the community.
One group of women chose to make "Bikur Cholm", visiting the sick to offer comfort, the chief priority. From this dedication grew the dream of one day establishing a Jewish hospital, a place of healing that would be open to all people. These women were members of Miriam Lodge No. 13, order of B'rith Abraham, the founding mother's of the organization known today as The Miriam Hospital Women's Association.
From the beginning of The Miriam Hospital Women's Association, food played an important role. Learn more about the history of cooking at The Miriam.