Rose to national importance in B’nai B’rith Women organization
Date of Birth: September 2, 1912
Date of Death: February 20, 1969
Place of Birth: Massachusetts
Frances Segal Solovich devoted her life to B’nai B’rith Women and its mission of bringing together all Jewish women in a true spirit of benevolence, sisterly love, and harmony.
A practicing attorney, wife of a lawyer/furniture store owner, and the mother of two sons, Frances began her B’nai B’rith activities as a charter member in Pisgah Chapter—Detroit in 1933. Three years later, she became chapter president. She was subsequently elected president of BBW District 6, embracing eight Midwest states and four Canadian provinces, and rose to the national level in 1956 with appointment to the B’nai B’rith Youth Commission. A year later, she became vice chair of the B’nai B’rith Vocational Service Commission and second vice president, in charge of national allocations, for B’nai B’rith Women.
In 1959, following her unanimous election by delegates at the B’nai B’rith biennial meeting in Washington, D.C., she was installed as national president of B’nai B’rith Women.
“I shall do everything possible to insure the start of another golden era for our organization,” she said during her luncheon address in the Statler Hilton Hotel. Frances served as BBW First Lady for a two-year term, at a time when the organization had 137,000 members belonging to 856 chapters in seven districts throughout the U.S., Canada, and 15 other countries.
In September of 1959 and again in February 1960, Frances was honored in Detroit with testimonial gatherings, with state and city officials attending. Label Katz, of New Orleans, international president of B’nai B’rith, made a special trip to Detroit to be a guest speaker at the testimonial luncheon held February 15,1960 at the Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel. Frances had just returned from Amsterdam, Holland, where she represented B’nai B’rith women members at the meetings of the B’nai B’rith International Council, which met to determine the disposition of German reparations funds given to B’nai B’rith.
Frances Solovich held a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and received her law degree from the University of Detroit. She formed the BBW Women’s Council of Greater Detroit and was directly responsible for the organization of 12 chapters in the city. The Detroit Frances Solovich B’nai B’rith Girls Chapter was named after her. She was active with the National Council of Jewish Women, the State Bar of Michigan, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Jewish Community Center. She was listed in four editions of Who’s Who of American Women (1958-1967).