Nira Bartal

Dr. Nira Bartal is a scholar of the history of nursing in Israel. Her articles on the history of nursing and oncology nursing have appeared in books and journals in Israel and abroad. She has published two books: Compassion and Competence: Nursing in Mandatory Palestine, 1918–1948 (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 2005) and With You When Needed: Historical Perspectives of Israeli Nursing,1936-2012 (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2015) (both in Hebrew).

Articles by this author

Nursing as a Female Profession in Palestine (1918-1948)

Nursing was a well-respected profession for Jewish women in Palestine, until doctors and nurses clashed about the proper level of education for nurses in the 1930s. Despite the challenges women faced in the medical field, they contributed greatly during times of war and violence before the founding of Israel.

Judith Steiner-Freud

As a Holocaust survivor, Judith Steiner-Freud fulfilled her faithful and influential mission. From the 1940s to the 2010s, she devoted herself to the calling of transforming nursing into an academic profession, raising the status of Israeli nurses, and promoting the welfare of Israeli society and other diverse population groups.

Selma Mair

Selma Mair was a German-born registered nurse who brought her education and devotion to the role of head nurse at the Sha’arei Zedek hospital in Jerusalem.

Sarah Lishansky

A politically active nurse and midwife, Sarah Lishansky used her career to treat and care for workers in the Yishuv during the Second Aliyah.

Bertha Landsman

Bertha Landsman dedicated her life to nursing, becoming one of the generation of giants who laid the foundation of the nursing profession in Palestine. She worked with Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women, persuading them to abandon folk superstition in favor of “correct knowledge and information,” and also taught nursing to local women students.

Anna Kaplan

Anna Kaplan was an American Jewish nurse who contributed significantly to developing the concept of nursing as a profession in Erez Israel at the beginning of the twentieth century. She was a leader in founding the nursing school, which later became the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah School of Nursing at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Hadassah School of Nursing: First Graduating Class

Nursing was not recognized as a profession in Israel until 1918, when the American Zionist Medical Unit, which later became the Hadassah Medical Organization, opened a nursing school. The first graduates were the leaders and pioneers of the nursing profession in Israel.

Shulamith Cantor

As director of the Hadassah School of Nursing in Jerusalem, Shulamith Cantor helped set the standard for nursing in Palestine.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nira Bartal." (Viewed on April 25, 2024) <>.