The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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Ruth Lewinson

July 1, 1895–1979

by Julie Altman

In Brief

Born in 1895, Ruth Lewinson was one of the earliest female Jewish lawyers in the United States. In addition to her own private practice, she was active on multiple boards and committees as well as other organizations including charitable work.


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 BA 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.

Lewinson was the treasurer and director of the New York County Lawyers Association and a member of the Advisory Committee on Surrogate’s Court Practice. From 1921 to 1939, she was a trustee of Hunter College and served on the Board of Higher Education.

She was also active in various other organizations, including the Federation for the Support of Jewish Charities, Northop Memorial Camp, Hunter College Associate Alumnae, the Children’s Shelter of Manhattan, Young Democrats, the League of Women Voters, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the International Federation of Business and Professional Women.

Ruth Lewinson died in Manhattan, in December 1979.


Obituary. NYTimes, December 3, 1979.

Who’s Who of American Women (1958–1959).

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How to cite this page

Altman, Julie. "Ruth Lewinson." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 31 December 1999. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 29, 2023) <>.