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She was a very determined, very smart, very independent person," he told me. Theresa Ruth Berolzheimer was born in 1886 in Missouri. After her family moved to Chicago Heights around the turn of the century she became active in the small Jewish community there, founding the town's first Hebrew school at the age of 17. She attended the University of Illinois in Champaign and in 1908 graduated with a degree in chemical engineering—only the second woman in the school's history to do so.

But after college Berolzheimer left the lab, embarking instead on a career in social work. She took a job as assistant director at Milwaukee's Abraham Lincoln House, a community center for Jewish immigrant women, whose founder Lizzie Black Kander wrote the classic Settlement Cookbook. Berolzheimer's resumé indicates she worked on the book's fifth edition.

Some time after that Berolzheimer relocated to New York, where she continued to pursue social work but also took on food-related editorial work, serving as managing editor of Good Eating Magazine, writing articles such as "But All I Want Is Good Milk" and "Meeting the Menace of Malnutrition."

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