Despite her own failing health, Rose Kaplan insisted on nursing Jewish settlers in Palestine and refugees in Egypt and inspired others to follow her example. Kaplan studied at the Mount Sinai Hospital Training School for Nurses before serving as a nurse in the Spanish American War. In 1913 she was hired by Hadassah to help establish their district visiting nursing program in Palestine. As conditions worsened during WWI, Kaplan returned to America in 1915, where she learned that she had cancer. Despite the diagnosis, she insisted that Hadassah send her to help Jewish refugees in Alexandria. Her ship caught fire two days after it set sail, but as soon as she was rescued, Kaplan continued on her journey to Egypt. Once there, she worked primarily with children, teaching hygiene and treating skin diseases and trachoma, an eye infection that causes blindness when left untreated. While working in Palestine and Egypt, Kaplan regularly sent back optimistic reports of her work, peppered with vivid details, which were published in Hadassah’s newsletters to show members how the organization’s work was paying off in direct service to settlers and refugees. She lost her battle with cancer shortly before her fortieth birthday while serving in Alexandria.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Kaplan." (Viewed on April 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/kaplan-rose>.