Date in History: 1900

In 1900, the Milwaukee Jewish Mission opened a settlement house to assist new immigrants to America. One of the more popular events held at the house was a class on the preparation of simple nutritional meals using American products. The women teaching the class created a workbook to go along with the instruction, but the men on the Board of Directors refused to invest the $18 needed to print the book, laughingly telling the ladies that they’d be happy though to “share in any profits from your little venture.”

Well the women raised the money themselves and that little venture turned into The Settlement Cookbook – the world’s most profitable fundraising cookbook, running through 40 editions and selling two million copies. The Settlement Cookbook was a windfall for the Jewish Mission, a mission that exists today as the multifaceted Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 07/21/2003.