Thon, Hannah Helena (born (Cohn)

חנה הלנה טהון

Hannah Helena Thon (née Cohn) was born on 22.1.1886 in Dresden, Germany and died on 10.4.1954 in Jerusalem. Hannah was raised in a Christian environment and turned to Judaism during a stay in London in 1907. After school, she took a job as a secretary in Berlin and attended lectures in social sciences in her free time. She became a journalist and Zionist. In 1913 she was invited to Palestine by Arthur Ruppin to run the secretariat of the Palestine Office in Jaffa, but had to return to Germany because of World War I. Hannah worked with Martin Buber and Victor Jacobson, editing various journals such as 'Der Jude'. She was involved in the founding of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) in London shortly after WWI. On a subsequent visit to Palestine in 1921 she married Dr Ya’akov Thon (1880–1950), who was among the founders and leaders of several Jewish national institutions in pre-state Israel. In Palestine, Hannah was a leader of the Histadrut Nashim Ivriot (Hebrew Women’s Organization, HWO, merged with WIZO in 1933), editor of Ha-Ishah (‘The Women’), the first feminist journal in Palestine, and was involved in settlement work in the poor Jewish neighbourhoods of old and new Jerusalem. Additionally, she taught the course "Sociology of Oriental Jews" at Siddy Wronsky's school for social service in Jerusalem and was involved in research in the field of cultural and ethnic diversity. In 1947, she began conducting surveys on Sephardic Jews from the Balkans, North Africa, Yemen and Asia, with 300 families. Hannah was also active in the Organization of German Immigrants and the political party known as Aliyah Hadashah – the Association of Central European Immigrants.

Was married to Dr. Ya’akov Thon (1880-1950), who was among the founders and leaders of Jeiwsh national institutions in pre-state Israel.
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