Shulamith Cantor

As director of the Hadassah School of Nursing in Jerusalem, Shulamith Cantor helped set the standard for nursing in Palestine. Born Frieda Jedid Halevi, Cantor studied nursing at the American University in Beirut before making Aliyah in 1919. Although inexperienced, her combined knowledge of nursing and Hebrew allowed her to teach at the American Zionist Medical Unit’s nursing school. Although she quit in 1921 when she married Louis Cantor, she returned to the profession after her husband died in 1933, leaving her the sole supporter of their four children. She studied for a year at Columbia in New York, then became head nurse and director of the school of nursing at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem in 1934. She updated the curriculum, created specialized courses for midwives and operating room nurses, and offered advice and support to people creating new nursing schools in Israel. In 1948 she created the nursing unit for Israel’s new Ministry of Health, and ran the unit until 1955. She then returned to Hadassah, where she taught courses and continued her consulting work with other hospitals and schools for many years.


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

After stowing away on a ship to Israel in 1919, Shulamith Cantor went on to serve as director of the Hadassah School of Nursing in Jerusalem and worked to develop the nursing profession in the Yishuv and during the early years of the State.

Institution: Nira Bartal.

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Nurse, Professor, Administrator

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Shulamith Cantor." (Viewed on April 10, 2021) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox