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Jennie Davidson Levitt

Jennie Davidson Levitt continued her family’s tradition of activism and philanthropy with her work for Jewish organizations, including resettling Jewish refugees during and after WWII. Levitt’s father, Saul Davidson, ran the largest furniture dealership in Iowa, while her mother volunteered for various local and international charities. Levitt graduated from Drake University in 1913 and married a year later, moving to Kansas City in 1918. There, she served as president of the Kansas City branch of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1931–1936 and served on the boards of the Jewish Welfare Association, the Federation of Jewish Charities, and the League of Women Voters, among others. Representing NCJW, she also became involved in peace activism. After moving to Minneapolis in 1937, she chaired the SOS division of the Joint Distribution Committee and served on the boards of the national women’s division of United Jewish Appeal and other organizations. Through the Red Cross Home Service, she helped rescue Jewish children during the war and later helped process refugees. In the 1950s and 1960s she lobbied for better medical and psychiatric services and donated funds to Mount Sinai Hospital and NCJW, and established a research institute at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Date of Birth
November 18, 1889
Place of Birth
Des Moines, Iowa
Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jennie Davidson Levitt." (Viewed on December 14, 2018) <>.


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