Raquela Prywes

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Raquela Garden in Beit HaKerem, Jerusalem.

Raquela Prywes (Hebrew: רחלה פריבס; born Raquela Levy, 1924 in Jerusalem; died March, 1985) was a nurse in Israel, trained in midwifery, and obstetrics, at the Hadassah Medical Center. A ninth generation Jerusalemite, Raquela is the chief protagonist in the eponymous book, written by Ruth Gruber, who, in 1978, spent a year in Israel writing the life story. The book won the National Jewish Book Award in 1979 for Best Book on Israel, Raquela: A Woman of Israel, written by Ruth Gruber.[1]

Raquela graduated nursing at Hadassah Hospital, on Mount Scopus, years prior to the founding of the State of Israel.

After Jordan seized East Jerusalem, in 1948, she worked in the baby's ward at Hadassah Hospital 'A'. She was chosen by her superiors for special duties, being sent to the British Atlit detainee camp and on Cyprus internment camps, deliver babies and care for mothers, in the worst of conditions. On her return from Cyprus, she helped build the nursery wards in Jerusalem and, later, in Beersheba.

She married Dr. Arik Brzezinski, a prominent obstetrician, and worked closely with him. They had two sons, Amnon (Professor Amnon Brzezinski, head of the Patricia and Russell Fleischman Women's Health Center, and Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, at the Hadassah Medical Center, in Jerusalem) and Raphael.

After his death, she married her late husband's friend and colleague, then a widower, Dr. Moshe Prywes (assistant dean of the Hadassah– Hebrew University Medical Center, and later Dean of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev .,[2][3] and after whom the Moshe Prywes Center for Medical Education, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, is named.) She helped deliver Jewish and Bedouin babies at the new Beersheva hospital, and saved the life of Sarah, Golda Meir's only daughter, who almost died from eclampsia.

Raquela Prywes died in March, 1985, at the age of 60 years.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Gruber, Ruth (1978). Raquela: A Woman of Israel ]. Three Rivers Press, New York. p. 417. ISBN 0930395174. 
  2. ^ Prywes, Moshe (1996). Prisoner of hope]. Brandeis University Press, University Press of New England, Waltham, Mass. p. 371. ISBN 0874516536. 
  3. ^ Prywes, Moshe (1961). Medical education in Israel]. Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School Jerusalem. p. 35. LCCN 90888147. 
  • Harlap S, Davies AM, Grover NB, Prywes R. The Jerusalem Perinatal Study: the first decade 1964-73. Isr J Med Sci 1977;13:1073 – 91.