The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Regine Freund Cohane

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Regine Freund Cohane until we are able to commission a full entry.

Photo of Regine Freund Cohane courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

A dedicated lawyer who fought sexism and anti-Semitism, Regine Freund Cohane also had the unique distinction of being half of the first married couple to try a case before the US Supreme Court. In 1917 Cohane was one of seven Jewish women at Cornell University to found Sigma Delta Tau, an inclusive sorority, after experiencing anti-Semitism in the campus Greek system, and later became the sorority’s first national president. After graduating in 1920 she moved to Detroit, where numerous law firms refused to hire her because of her gender. She threw herself into suffrage work, rallying support for the 19th Amendment. In 1924 she married Louis Cohane, opened a law firm with him, and presented a case with him to the Supreme Court, all in the same year. In 1933, as president of the National Council of Jewish Women, she oversaw both the creation of a soup kitchen and a camp providing free vacations in the country to working-class women. She was regularly honored both for her leadership of Sigma Delta Tau and NCJW over her lifetime.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Regine Freund Cohane." (Viewed on July 31, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/cohane-regine>.

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