Rachel Cohen-Kagan

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Rachel Cohen-Kagan
רחל כהן כגן חותמת על מגילת העצמאות 1948.jpg
Date of birth 19 February 1888
Place of birth Odessa, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah 1919
Date of death 15 October 1982(1982-10-15) (aged 94)
Knessets 1, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
1949-1951 WIZO
1961-1965 Liberal Party
1965 Independent Liberals

Rachel Cohen-Kagan (Hebrew: רחל כהן-כגן‎‎; 19 February 1888 – 15 October 1982) was a Zionist activist and Israeli politician, and one of only two women to sign the Israeli declaration of independence.


Born Rachel Lubersky in the city of Odessa in the Russian Empire (today in Ukraine), Cohen-Kagan attended university in her home city and Moscow.

She immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1919 on board the ship Ruslan, and became involved in the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO). In 1932 she was appointed chairwoman of the Committee for Social Aid in the Community Committee of Haifa, a role she held until 1946.

In 1938 she was elected chairwoman of WIZO, and became more involved in politics. In 1946 she was appointed director of the Social Department of the Jewish National Council. A member of Moetzet HaAm, in 1948 Cohen-Kagan was one of only two women (the other was Golda Meir) to sign the Israeli declaration of independence.

In the first Knesset election in 1949 WIZO won a single seat, which was taken by Cohen-Kagan. She lost her seat in the 1951 elections.

She later joined the Liberal Party, and returned to the Knesset on its list following the 1961 elections. However, Cohen-Kagan was one of the seven MKs that broke away from the party to found the Independent Liberals in opposition to the impending merger with Herut. She lost her seat in the 1965 elections.

Cohen-Kagan had two children.

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