February ’14 in the Exponent: Young Women’s Union Shelter; Three New Buildings Formally Dedicated


As our ongoing review of past issues continues, it’s clear a lot of things have changed over time — including the way news is reported.

Case in point: the Feb. 6, 1914 edition of the Jewish Exponent, which features a single story (and five advertisements) on the cover.

The thing is, the story about the Young Women’s Union dedicating three new buildings scarcely resembles a news article today.

For one thing, the “inverted pyramid” style of writing, where the most important information is included at the top, is nowhere to be found. Readers have to wait until nearly the end of the lengthy story to find out where the buildings are located.

In addition, the headline mentions the dedication of three new buildings, but the lead paragraph only mentions two — a day nursery and a shelter house. Later in the story, a neighborhood house is mentioned, but it isn’t clear if that’s the third new building.

Also unclear is the price of the project. A few numbers are tossed about midway through the article, but it’s uncertain whether they reference the entire project. In any case, it appears the project cost $65,066.45, along with $7,200 for land acquisitions.

And then there are the verbatim speeches of dignitaries, which you’d never find today. Not only is the Rev. Dr. Henry Berkowitz’s opening prayer recounted in full, but so are the speeches by Young Women’s Union President Gertrude Berg, Building Committee Chairman Howard A. Loeb and Municipal Court Judge James E. Gorman.

“I esteem it a privilege and an honor to accept with sincere gratitude this great gift, this magnificent building and our pretty shelter, which, for years to come, shall minister to the needs of the infants and children who shall be brought within their portals,” Berg said.


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