Nathan, Else

אלזה נתן
Else Sophie Nathan was born on 17.8.1895 in Koblenz and died in Israel (year unknown). Else completed her matriculation exams in 1911 and later studied languages. Around 1913, she attended a course in business school in Koblenz. She was also an active member of the Jewish youth union in Koblenz and later founded the Jung-Jüdischer Wanderbund, a Jewish youth movement in Bonn. Between 1913 and 1914, she studied household management in a boarding school in Strasbourg and was also a visiting student at the University of Strasbourg, attending courses in the history of literature, philosophy, social hygiene and experimental psychology. Between 1914 and 1916, Else did practical work as a Hortnerin, or daycare provider, at the public Drachenschule in Strasbourg. She then worked in a Comenius kindergarten seminary in Koblenz between 1917 and 1917. She then headed a private kindergarten in Koblenz. Her special interest was psychopathology, and between 1919 and 1920, she studied social work and trained to be a Jugendleiterin, or youth leader, at the Jugendheim Charlottenburg in Berlin. She did her internships in different welfare institutions, including a public welfare office and a school. Beginning in 1920, she was employed as social worker by the Berlin municipality to work with youth at the Jugendamt, or youth welfare office. She began studying in the full social work program at the Soziale Frauenschule Berlin-Schöneberg. Although she studied for nine months without graduating, she did receive state accreditation as a social worker in 1924. She continued working at a welfare office in Berlin-Mitte, and while she eventually worked in nearly every aspect of public welfare work, she tried to work with Jews in particular. She was a visiting student at the University of Berlin and attended courses in psychology, psychopathology of youth, the theory and history of worker's movement (Sombart) and social hygiene (Grotjahn. Between 1933 and 1936, she worked as an immigration counselor at the Palästina-Amt, an organization for helping Jews to immigrate to Palestine. There, she established an archive on life in Palestine, based on her own two-month visit there. In 1938 she began working as an immigration counselor in a leading position at the Hilfsverein der Juden in Deutschland, a relief organization devoted to improving the conditions of Jews. She immigrated to Palestine in 1939 with economic assistance from the Jewish Agency. Between 1941 and 1949 she worked in the Ben Shemen Youth Village. She made it a practice to visit the relatives of the children from the Youth Village in order to understand their economic situation and to collect pedagogical materials on the development of the children. She also took on fundraising responsibilities for the Youth Village. From 1950, she did administrative work in the Israeli Ministry of Welfare in Jerusalem. According to a 1961 newspaper article, she was one of the most well-known and experienced social workers in Israel.