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Rae D. Landy Arrives in Jerusalem

February 2, 1913
Hadassah nurses Rachel Landy and Rose Kaplan with Eva Leon, Jerusalem, 1913
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Hadassah nurses Rachel Landy and Rose Kaplan with Eva Leon, Jerusalem, 1913

Rae D. Landy was an early recruit to Hadassah’s district nursing service in Jerusalem, Mandate Palestine and later rose through the ranks of the American Army Nurse Corps to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Born in Lithuania, Rachel D. Landy (1885-1952), nick-named “Rae,” was one of seven children born to Rabbi Jacob and Eva Landy. In 1888, the family immigrated to Cleveland, OH.

In 1904, Rae graduated with the first class of nursing students sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Hospital Association (precursor to Mount Sinai Hospital) in Cleveland. She became an assistant superintendent at Harlem Hospital in New York in 1911, where she was recruited by Henrietta Szold, the intrepid Hadassah founder. The 28-year-old arrived in Mandate Palestine on February 2, 1913.

In Palestine, Landy and fellow nurse Rose Kaplan started a district visiting nurse program for immigrants suffering from malaria, typhoid, and dysentery. From two rooms they rented on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem, Landy and Kaplan launched a clinic and nurse’s settlement house where young Jerusalem girls received training in nursing, first aid, and hygiene. When Hadassah suspended its activities during the First World War, Landy returned home to the United States.

Upon her return in 1918, Landy entered the United States Army Nurse Corps. She served in Germany, Belgium, France, and the Phillipines. She continued an illustrious career with the Army Nurse Corps, and in 1944 was named Chief of Nurses at Crile General Hospital in Cleveland. Until her death on March 5, 1952, Landy worked with the Cleveland Red Cross and recruited nurses for Mount Sinai Hospital. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

To learn more about Rae D. Landy, visit Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.

See also: Hadassah in the United States.

Sources: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/landy-rae-d

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Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History - Rae D. Landy Arrives in Jerusalem." (Viewed on April 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/feb/02/1913/rae-d-landy>.