The LEBANESE-SYRIAN JUNIOR WOMEN'S LEAGUE, organized in 1929, is a social and charitable organization that sponsors fundraising events to support children's institutions overseas, scholarships for local students of Syrian-Lebanese descent, and donations to local welfare agencies. The league was founded with 23 charter members at a party for Syrian girls sponsored by the Intl. Institute of the YWCA on 9 Dec. 1929. Known for its first several months as the Zenobia Club, it elected Linda George as its first president, Evelyn Bader as vice-president, and Sonia George as secretary and treasurer. On 15 July 1930, it changed its name to the Syrian Jr. League. The league sponsored socials, hikes, speeches, and plays; few members could speak Arabic, but they practiced the language to put on plays. At Christmas time the organization held a party for poor children and collected food for needy Syrian families. The organization also helped establish the Syrian Cultural Gardens and sponsored the Capricornian Club for younger women. In the mid-1940s, the Syrian Jr. League adopted its present name both to acknowledge the independent state of Lebanon and to help satisfy the JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CLEVELAND'S concern about public confusion over the 2 organizations with similar names. Expansion of group activities and increased membership made it necessary for the group to leave the Intl. Institute and move its activities to the Sheraton Cleveland Hotel until it closed for renovations in 1977, when it moved temporarily to the Plaza Hotel.

In 1994 the Midwest Federation of Arabic Organizations cited the league as an outstanding group within the federation. League membership in 1995 numbered 164 and monthly meetings were held at the Holiday Inn-Rockside in INDEPENDENCE. Celeste Drehs served as president.

Finding aid for the Lebanese Syrian American Junior League Records. WRHS.

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