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Lena Levine

Lena Levine

From the 1930s through the 1950s, Lena Levine used her medical and psychological training to offer women advice on everything from birth control to intimacy issues.

Lena Levine

Lena Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 17, 1903, the youngest of seven children of Sophie and Morris Levine, Jewish emigrants from Vilna, Lithuania. Educated at Girls High School in Brooklyn, Hunter College, and Bellevue Hospital Medical College, Levine graduated in 1927, married fellow student Louis Ferber, and established a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Brooklyn. A daughter, Ellen Louise, was born in 1939, followed three years later by a son, Michael Allen, who developed viral encephalitis in infancy and was left severely retarded. Tragedy struck again in 1943 when Louis Ferber died of a heart attack.

Feminism in the United States

Jewish women have played a significant role in all aspects of the American feminist movement.

Birth Control Movement in the United States

The dedicated commitment of great numbers of American Jewish women to their country’s long and controversial crusade to legalize birth control had its origins in 1912, when the movement’s formidable pioneer Margaret Sanger—baptized a Catholic, and married to a Jew, but by then calling herself a socialist—was working part-time as a visiting nurse in the immigrant districts of New York City’s Lower East Side.

American Birth Control Movement

Jewish women from a range of social and economic backgrounds found common political cause in the American birth control movement and profoundly affected its successes in the early twentieth century.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lena Levine." (Viewed on November 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10169>.

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