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Psychology and Psychiatry

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.

Gisela Peiper Konopka

Gisela Konopka’s outstanding career in youth and adolescent services, social work, education and history is reflected in her litany: “All my life I have been fighting for justice, and for respect for all people. I abhor any arrogance related to race, religion, nationality, appearance, sex, age, intelligence, profession, money. That arrogance is wrong. What is important is what a person is, and does, for the community.”

Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein made an original and significant contribution to twentieth-century psychoanalysis through a collection of papers published between 1921 and 1963. She was a pioneer of child psychoanalysis, inventor of the ‘play technique’ which enables children to express themselves through the use of toys, founder of the British ‘object relations’ school of psychoanalysis, and an early theoretician of emotions and their significance in human development.

Lena Kenin

Popular myth suggests that during the height of her practice, Dr. Lena Kenin delivered at least half of the Jewish babies in Portland, Oregon. This joyful responsibility was not without challenges. As was more customary in the mid-twentieth century than now, expecting a child was a private affair. Most of Kenin’s patients wanted to keep their pregnancies a secret, but risked running into a friend or an acquaintance in the waiting room. Kenin designed her office so that patients could exit through another door.

Vitka Kempner-Kovner

Vitka Kempner was born on March 14, 1920 in the county-town of Kalisz (Kalisch), western Poland, one-third of whose population was Jewish. Her parents, Hayyah and Zevi, ran a retail business. Her large tribe of grandparents, uncles and cousins were liberal both in outlook and in lifestyle.

Fay Berger Karpf

Fay Berger Karpf made important contributions to Jewish American intellectual and social history. Both she and her husband, Maurice Joseph Karpf, were key figures in the Jewish welfare movement in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Anna Maria Jokl

“Man vergisst nichts, nichts” (One forgets nothing, nothing, Essenzen, 106), says Anna Maria Jokl in her book Essenzen (1993), when, in her seventies, she looks back at her life—a life that struggles against forgetting, a life shaped by persecution, exile and repeated new beginnings in different places.

Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda is an important figure in psychology in England as well as the United States. She authored or coauthored eight books and coedited five more. Jahoda received an award for distinguished contributions to the public interest from the American Psychological Association in 1979.

Blanche Frank Ittleson

Blanche Frank Ittleson was born September 27, 1875, into the third generation of a prominent German Jewish family in St. Louis. She was the oldest of four siblings, all brothers. After completing high school, she trained as a kindergarten teacher. In 1898, she married Henry J. Ittleson. They had two sons, Henry, Jr., and Lee, who was retarded. Moved by Lee’s needs, Ittleson continued her interest in child development and studied social work at Washington University’s School of Social Economics. The Ittleson family moved to New York City in 1915, where Henry Ittleson founded Credit and Investment Company, the first time-payment company in the United States. (It is now the CIT Financial Corporation, a broadly diversified financial company.)

Carol Gilligan

Carol Gilligan has broken new ground in psychology, challenging mainstream psychologists with her theory that accepted benchmarks of moral and personal developments were drawn to a male bias and do not apply to women. Gilligan proposed that women have different moral criteria and follow a different path in maturation. A psychologist who taught at Harvard and Cambridge, Gilligan brought a feminist perspective to challenge Freud and new life to the statement “The personal is political.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Psychology and Psychiatry." (Viewed on November 28, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/psychology-and-psychiatry>.

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