Today, Jewish Treats honors Rae Landy.

To Rachel “Rae” Landy, nursing was far more than a job, it was a “calling.” Born in Lithuania on June 27, 1885, she came to America when she was 3 and was later part of the first graduating class of nursing students sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Hospital Association (later Mount Sinai Hospital in Cleveland). Raised in a traditional Jewish household, Landy was also a passionate Zionist. In 1913, Landy and nurse Rose Kaplan were sent to Palestine by Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah organization, to start a visiting nurse service.

Conditions in Jerusalem, where they were situated, were abysmal. Poverty was rampant and many of the residents were not used to conventional medical care. In addition to their regular rounds, Landy and Kaplan created a public health station at which they offered first aid, gave lessons on hygiene, treated trachoma, a bacterial eye infection, and provided maternity care, as well as trained women in nursing. The outbreak of World War I sadly put an end to Landy’s stay in Jerusalem. Conditions deteriorated in the Ottoman-held territory, making life even more difficult, and within the year both nurses returned to the United States.

In 1918, Landy joined the United States Army Nurse Corps and cared for the soldiers in Germany, Belgium and France with the American Expeditionary Forces. Even after the war, Landy stayed in the Corps, serving in various positions, including being with troops in the Philippines in the 1930s.

In 1940, Landy was promoted to Captain and was appointed superintendent of the headquarters of the Second Corps area. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1944, but continued working in the medical field with the Red Cross.

Rae Landy passed away on March 5, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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