This website is made possible by generous donations from users just like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day.  Please consider making a gift to JWA today!
Close [x]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Lea Hurvitz

Lea Beninson Hurvitz’s memoirs document not only her own life but the struggles of other women pioneers of the First Aliyah, whose experiences were rarely discussed. Raised in a Zionist family, Hurvitz joined the egalitarian Bilu pioneer movement as a teen. She met her future husband, Zvi, who left for Palestine in 1882, the same year Lea graduated high school at age fifteen. Lea Hurvitz spent the next four years tutoring children, then married Zvi in 1886 and followed him back to Palestine. The couple settled in Gedarah, where they worked on a settlement, and despite the harsh conditions, Hurvitz welcomed new immigrants, raised seven children, and helped her parents and siblings resettle in Palestine. In 1943 the newspaper Ha-Boker published parts of her memoir, which discussed the invisible women of the first Aliyah: Hurvitz recounted how, although they were largely ignored by historians documenting the period, the women labored alongside the men, suffered the same hardships as male pioneers, and the settlement effort would have been doomed without their willingness to make homes and raise children in challenging conditions.

More on: Palestine, Memoirs
Lea Hurvitz
Full image
Zionist pioneer Lea Hurvitz.
Courtesy of Nili Arie Sapir.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lea Hurvitz." (Viewed on December 16, 2018) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs