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Sarah KappelmanHarris

“The most rewarding work I did besides Hadassah was for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. I would go to the airport to pick up somebody who had come from a different world. And when you bring them into this country and make them realize they are free now, nothing matches it. Laughing and crying and hugging and kissing are the same in every language.” – Sarah Kappelman Harris

Sarah Kappelman Harris divides her life into three parts: her family, her work with Hadassah, and her work with HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). Born in 1910 to Russian immigrant parents and raised as an Orthodox Jew, Sarah attended Goucher College, graduating with a degree in Romance Languages in 1930. She taught Latin and worked at the May Company clothing store before marrying Leroy Kappelman in 1938. Sarah dedicated herself to raising her three daughters, Marsha, Victoria, and Carol, while volunteering for Jewish community organizations. Through her local and national leadership roles in Hadassah, Sarah met many prominent people, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Hubert Humphrey, and Henrietta Szold. At HIAS, Sarah performed work that deeply touched her heart, meeting new immigrants as they arrived in Baltimore. Following the death of her first husband, Sarah married Herbert Harris in 1980. Sarah has lived in accordance with her conviction that Jewish women are essential in transmitting Judaism to their families.


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Sarah Kappelman Harris worked for Hadassah and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sarah Kappelman Harris." (Viewed on May 30, 2020) <>.


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