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Organizations and Institutions

Ruth Lewinson

Ruth Lewinson, one of the earliest female Jewish lawyers in the United States, was born to Benno and Fanny (Berliner) Lewinson in New York City on July 1, 1895. She received her B.A. degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, from Hunter College in 1916, and a law degree from New York University in 1919. She then taught English to immigrants and gave lectures on practical law. In 1920, she was admitted to the New York bar and became a senior member of the firm established by her father. She worked with him until 1953, when she started her own private practice.

Florence Nightingale Levy

Florence Nightingale Levy’s most significant achievement was the founding of the American Art Annual in 1898. A comprehensive directory of the American art world, the Annual catalogued schools, associations, exhibitions, and artists nationwide. Levy went on to perform invaluable editing, organizing, and educational roles in the American art world for the next fifty years.

Adele Rosenwald Levy

Adele Rosenwald Levy used her affluence to promote public-spirited philanthropy and Jewish causes. Active in thirty-five charitable, artistic, and community organizations, Levy never failed her father’s principle that those of good fortune should assume “the obligations that come with wealth.”

Jennie Davidson Levitt

Jennie Davidson Levitt represented the “finest synthesis of Americanism and Judaism,” according to the leaders of the Minneapolis Jewish National Fund at a 1968 dinner in her honor. Deeply aware of her responsibilities as a financially secure Jewish woman, Levitt labored to improve social conditions for diverse groups in the United States and abroad. Her broad approach to social reform, and the particular issues that she addressed, paralleled the changing concerns of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), her most beloved organization for more than fifty years.

Jacqueline Levine

Jacqueline Levine is an outstanding example of female activist leadership in American Jewish life. In over five decades of service to the Jewish community, she has combined her powerfully deep liberal political beliefs and activities, which benefit the poor and disadvantaged, with her concern for the vast needs of specific Jewish communities.

Bertha Szold Levin

Bertha Szold Levin, a civic leader and Jewish communal activist, was born on December 21, 1874, in Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest daughter of Rabbi Benjamin and Sophie (Schaar) Szold. Along with her sisters, Rachel, Sadie, Adele, and Henrietta Szold, she grew up in a household infused with a love for both German culture and Jewish learning. Three other sisters died as children. Educated in Baltimore’s public schools, she received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 1894 and returned home to work as a teacher. In 1901, she married Louis H. Levin, an attorney who later founded the Associated Jewish Charities in Baltimore. The couple had five children. Levin assisted her husband as a writer and translator for the Baltimore Jewish Comment, which he edited. In 1924, she became the first woman appointed to the Baltimore City School Board, a post that she held until 1940.

Edith Altschul Lehman

Although she preferred to be addressed as Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman, and often insisted that marriage was her career and family was the greatest interest in her life, Edith Altschul Lehman’s public persona reflected her commitment to social causes. Known to many only as the cultured wife of one of New York’s most popular governors and senators, she was in her own right a passionate social activist and philanthropist, although much of her philanthropy was not made public.

Adele Lewisohn Lehman

Adele Lehman, a New York City philanthropist, was not only a substantial donor and fund-raiser for a number of organizations and causes, but was also an administrator and served as an officer or board member for many agencies. Although Lehman is primarily recognized as honorary chairperson for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, most of her volunteer work centered around secular organizations. She was a board member of the New York Service for the Orthopedically Handicapped and founder and board member of the Arthur Lehman Counseling Service.

Sarah Kussy

Sarah Kussy was a versatile and accomplished leader of American Jewry who devoted her educational training and organizational skills to the community throughout her long life. She was a founder and leader of a constellation of significant Jewish organizations, including Hadassah and the United Synagogue Women’s League, both of which named her an honorary national vice president. Through her many associations, Kussy worked to change the face of Jewish education, Zionist activities, and women’s participation in Jewish American communal life. Her energy, erudition, and leadership inspired Jewish women and educators across North America.

Madeleine May Kunin

The specifics of Madeleine May Kunin’s life, as she herself states in her autobiography, Living a Political Life (1994), hardly suggest a typical governor of Vermont: “As a feminist, an immigrant, and a Jew, I was perhaps too different from the average Vermont voter, yet it was this identity that inspired me to enter public life and shaped my values.”


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Organizations and Institutions." (Viewed on October 27, 2016) <>.


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