Gratz, Rebecca

Gratz, Rebecca

(grăts), 1781–1869, American philanthropist, b. Philadelphia; daughter of Michael Gratz. Well known for her philanthropies in Philadelphia, she is remembered chiefly as the probable prototype of Rebecca in Scott's Ivanhoe, her charm and beauty having been described to Scott by Washington Irving. Her letters were edited by David Philipson (1929).

Bibliography

See biography by R. G. Osterweis (1935).

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Gratz, Rebecca

(1781–1869) philanthropist; born in Philadelphia. The daughter of Michael Gratz, who prospered in trade, she helped found the Philadelphia Orphan Society in 1815. In 1838 she founded the first Hebrew Sunday School Society and was its president until 1864. She is said to have been the inspiration for Rebecca in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.