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Nora Levin

While her books sparked controversy among historians, Nora Levin helped shape popular understanding of modern Jewish history. Levin began her career as a research librarian and public high school teacher concentrating on American and European history. From 1948–1953 she was executive director of the Philadelphia Council of Pioneer Women, a labor Zionist group, and over the course of her career served as a board member for organizations ranging from the Soviet Jewry Council to the National Conference of Christians and Jews. In the early 1970s she began teaching at Gratz College, where she was founding director of their Holocaust Oral History Archives. But it was her books on modern Jewish history that brought her national attention, bringing major events to life by focusing on the stories of individuals. From her first book in 1968, The Holocaust, to her final, two–volume Jews of the Soviet Union Since 1917, some historians criticized her indiscriminate use of sources and her tendency to quote sources without proper attribution. Despite this, many critics and general readers found her perspective on modern history gripping.

Date of Birth
September 20, 1916
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death
October 26, 1989

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nora Levin." (Viewed on March 22, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/levin-nora>.


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