Levin, Nora

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LEVIN, NORA (1916–1989), historian of the Jewish experience for general audiences. Born in Philadelphia to Joseph and Bertha Levin, Levin received her B.S. in education at Temple University in 1938 and her B.S. in library science in 1941 from the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. After serving as a visitor for the Department of Public Assistance in Philadelphia from 1938 to 1940, she started a career as a reference librarian, working at the Free Library of Philadelphia (1941–43), Time, Inc. (1943–44), and Holiday (1945–47). Levin served as the executive secretary of the Philadelphia Council of the Women's Labor Zionist Organization of America, *Pioneer Women, from 1948 to 1953. Between 1953 and 1970, she taught high school history and English in the Philadelphia public schools. Levin became an instructor of Jewish history at Gratz College in Philadelphia in 1970, where she taught until her death in 1989. In that year, Gratz College awarded her a D.H.Lit. posthumously.

Levin was the author of three books, including one of the earliest general accounts of the Shoah, The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry, 19331945 (1968). In 1977, she wrote While Messiah Tarried: Jewish Socialist Movements, 18711933, a study of various movements that wedded socialist principles to a vigorous Jewish identity. Levin also wrote a two-volume study, Jews in the Soviet Union since 1917: Paradox of Survival (1988). Always a community activist, she regularly wrote articles for journals of opinion like the Jewish Frontier, The Reconstructionist, Commonweal, and The Nation.

[Marsha L. Rozenblit (2nd ed.)]