Florence Freehof


Israeli, Jewish

Florence Freehof 1955


Florence Freehof was born on August 27, 1909 in Nebraska. Originally named Florence Goldblum, she also used Florence Barlow as a stage name, according to an interview done with her husband in 1976.

At 27, Florence married Louis J. Freehof, an attorney practicing and teaching at the University of Chicago and the University of Denver. In 1945, Temple Emanu-El offered Louis Freehof the newly created position of Executive Director and the couple relocated to San Francisco.

Florence introduced and promoted Israeli dance and music in the United States as a teacher, director, author, choreographer, and musician. She wrote a number of books on Israeli folk dancing, including Jews Are a Dancing People.

Florence Freehof was also active in a number of causes that benefited Jewish communities in both Israel and the United States. She was one of the founders of the Rikudon dance group and, with her husband, the Jewish Youth Conference.

At her death on February 15, 1990, Freehof was president of Na'amat USA (formerly Pioneer Women).