Katie Gluckmann

Katie Gluckmann was a driving force behind the Zionist movement in South Africa and worked within a sexist system to ensure women remained partners in the Zionist movement there. Raised in South Africa as the daughter of a single mother, Gluckmann came of age in the Zionist movement in Capetown and Johannesburg. She married in 1903 but devoted unflagging energy to Zionism and was an elected member of the executive board of the Zionist Conference every year from 1928–1949. She also chaired the South African branch of the Jewish National Fund. When male South African Zionists fought the creation of a South African branch of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) in the 1930s, Gluckmann and several other women simply re-branded it as the South African Zionist Council, refusing to surrender their right to participate in the Zionist movement. Gluckmann made Aliyah in 1949 and became part of the WIZO executive board and chair of the Mothercraft Training Center in Tel Aviv, which cared for premature babies and trained pediatric nurses. After her husband’s death in 1952, she also successfully ran his insurance agency. During Gluckmann’s lifetime, the South African branch of the Jewish National Fund planted a forest in her honor in the Judean mountains.


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Katie Gluckmann sits with folded arms.
Photograph by Leon Levson courtesy of Joyce Miller.
Date of Birth


Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Katie Gluckmann." (Viewed on June 13, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/gluckmann-katie>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox