Faye LibbySchenk

Fay Libby Schenk turned down a promising career as a zoologist to devote herself to Hadassah and other Zionist organizations. Schenk earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in genetics from Drake University, where she was offered a chair in zoology, but refused the position. Instead, she moved to Australia in 1939 and became active there in the Women’s International Zionist Organization. On her return to America in 1949 she joined Hadassah, founding a Washington Heights group for their New York chapter and rising up the ladder to become president from 1968–1972. During her presidency, Hadassah began rebuilding its hospital on Mount Scopus and created its Institute of Oncology in Jerusalem. Schenk also served as president of the American Zionist Federation, co-chair of United Jewish Appeal, vice chair of the National Council of the American-Israel Public Committee, and board member of both Hebrew University and the Jewish Agency. Even after enduring the 1970 El Al hijacking, her enthusiasm for life and the State of Israel were unabated. After making Aliyah in 1978, Schenk reached the pinnacle of her career when she was elected to represent the World Confederation of United Zionists on the Zionist executive (which runs daily operation of the World Zionist Organization).

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Date of Birth

Des Moines, IA
United States

Date of Death
Organizational Leader

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Faye Libby Schenk." (Viewed on August 7, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/schenk-faye>.


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