Sylvia Firestone, CUSSW Benefactor, Dies

October 21, 2009 @ 4:00 am


October 21, 2009

With great sadness we share that Sylvia Firestone ’39 has passed away in California.

Sylvia earned the Diploma in Social Work in 1939 for the New York School of Social Work, and then in 1948 received her MSW degree from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1939 to 1942, she was a psychiatric social worker with the Veterans Administration. During World War II she was Assistant practicum Director for the American Red Cross in army hospitals in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and European theaters.

From 1945-1947, she was the Chief Social Worker at the Cleveland Regional Office of the Veterans  Administration, and from 1947-1954 she was a social caseworker and supervisor at the Jewish Family Service in New York City. She helped to establish the first fee-for-service social worker program in the United States while providing executive leadership to the Arthur Lehman Counseling Service in NYC (1954-1956). From 1963 to 1983 she worked at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center in Chicago, serving as Senior Psychiatric Social Worker, Chief Social Worker, and Director of Clinic Services. She also had an active private practice in clinical social work.

In 1998 she and her husband, Mose, established the Sylvia D. and Mose J. Firestone Centennial Professor of Clinical Social Work, held by Ellen Lukens, as well as the Sylvia D. and Mose J. Firestone Centennial Scholarship Fund because of the School’s “leadership in clinical social work since its inception, and in order to enhance study, research and instruction in this field at CUSSW.”

Sylvia is survived by her husband Mose. Our sincerest condolences are extended to Sylvia’s family and friends.