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Mary Fink Papers

Identifier: MSS055

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the active professional and personal life of Mary Fink. Included in these files are papers, reports, newsletters, newspaper clippings and speeches collected from Mary Fink’s memberships and community service roles in Indianapolis. The bulk of these materials come from the National Council of Jewish Women, the Hooverwood Home for the Aged, and the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. The newspaper clippings are related to her volunteer activities, awards received, and memberships.

The collection also contains information about Mary Fink’s personal history such as a journal from her late teens, family genealogical information, and family photographs. The journal is of particular interest because it documents the year after her graduation from high school as well as the typical activities of an Indianapolis youth in the 1930s.


  • 1920s-1998


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Biographical / Historical

Mary E. Fink, 1916-2000, the daughter of Lawrence and Mary Lapinska grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from Shortridge High School and attended college at Westminster in Pennsylvania and Indiana Central Business College in Indianapolis, Indiana. On June 16, 1937, she married Louis Fink, owner of Concession Equipment and Supply Company. Louis died in 1987. They had one child, Lee Ann, born in 1947.

On her 1980 vita, Fink stated her occupation as housewife and professional volunteer. She began her career as a volunteer in the 1950s serving in various capacities with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). Her involvement with the Jewish community included the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, the Sisterhood of I.H.C., the Indiana Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Welfare Federation, and the Indianapolis Chapter of Hadassah. Throughout her life, Fink remained committed to community service. Her causes included youth and education, religious community affairs, housing, and the elderly. She actively served a variety of community organizations as a board member or on committees for the organization. One of her most active memberships was the Indianapolis Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Through her involvement in the NCJW, she extended her volunteer participation into various areas of influence advancing the ideals and mission of the NCJW as well as the cause of community betterment. She served as president of NCJW from 1962-1964 and on committees with the Indianapolis Section, Regional Council, and the National Council of the organization. An active volunteer, Mary served as president and director of the Indianapolis Meals on Wheels, Inc., director and chairman of the School and Community Relations Committee of the Indianapolis City PTA Board, Chairman of Publicity for the Hooverwood Jewish Home, Archives chairman for the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, and several other organizations.

Mary Fink received a variety of awards for her role in the Indianapolis community including the David M. Cook Memorial Award from the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Hannah G. Solomon Award from the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Those Special People Award from Theta Sigma Psi Women in Communications.

Among the organizations she held board positions with during her lifetime are:

Hooverwood Jewish Home for the Aged Indiana Jewish Historical Society Indiana Religious History Association Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council Indianapolis Jewish Family and Children’s Service Indianapolis Meals on Wheels, Inc. Indianapolis Section, National Council of Jewish Women Project HOPE (Hospital Ship) Indianapolis Welfare Service League (Auxiliary to Marion County Department of Public Welfare) YWCA


.8 Cubic Feet (2 document cases)


Mary Fink was an active volunteer and leader in the Jewish community. An active member of the National Council of Jewish Women, she served as the organization’s president from 1962-1964. As a volunteer in the Indianapolis community, she worked on a variety of governing boards and committees aimed at community betterment. This collection contains information about her and her activities in the Indianapolis community.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were received prior to 2004.

Related Materials

National Council of Jewish Women Indianapolis Section Records, 1906-1996, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.


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Mary Fink Papers, 1920s-1998
Debra Brookhart
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA