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Kaufman, Emma Ratz
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- Kaufman, Emma R. (Emma Ratz), 1881-1979
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Emma Ratz Kaufman was born to Jacob Kaufman and Mary Eidt Ratz in Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario on August 27, 1881. She was raised alongside her three siblings; Alvin Ratz Kaufman, Milton Ratz Kaufman and, Edna Louise Kaufman. As a child, she attended King Edward Public School and graduated from Berlin High School.
Emma was strongly influenced by her parents and their work with the Zion Evangelical Church. Subsequently, Emma travelled to Japan in 1909 with Reverend J.P. Hauch and his wife who worked as missionaries. Emma spent six months in Japan and then returned to Canada. She then studied at the United Church Training School and then travelled to New York to take the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) training course.
Emma returned to Japan in 1912 and volunteered with the Tokyo YWCA for the next 25 years. Emma's work focused primarily on providing education for women and she developed classes for women in home economics, camping, physical education among other subject areas. In addition, Emma served as the only foreign secretary for the YWCA in Japan from 1916-1923. Emma also trained Japanese leaders for the YMCA and helped arrange for Canadian students to study in Japan.
In 1940, Emma left Japan for a brief vacation but was unable to return to the country due to the Second World War. While in Canada, Emma was concerned with the treatment of Japanese people in Canada during the war. She established a co-operative residence for men in Kitchener, Ontario and helped find young girls work in domestic positions. She also established a scholarship to help send Japanese girls to university and teachers college.
After the war, Emma worked for the national YWCA in Canada and helped purchase a house in Toronto, Ontario for their national headquarters. In 1965, Emma returned to Japan and was honoured by the Emperor of Japan for her services to the country. She received a silver saki bowl with the Imperial Seal of Japan inscribed on it. During the same year, Emma was awarded the International Co-operation Year medal by Cardinal Leger for her work in the development of home economics, higher education for women, camping, recreation for women, and youth leadership. She was also given a lifetime membership in the Adult Education Association.
Emma died on March 1, 1979.
Zion Evangelical Church
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is the parent of
Kaufman, Emma Ratz
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Revised by NM in September 2018.