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Elizabeth Cohn papers

Identifier: IWA0967

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Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Cohn papers date from 1920 to 1987, and measure 5 linear inches. The papers focus on Cohn’s involvement in local Jewish organizations and include speeches, newspaper clippings, correspondence, typewritten prayers, and two spiral-bound works of Jewish religious music. The papers document Cohn’s activities as program chairman and president of the Women’s League at the Sons of Jacob synagogue in Waterloo, Iowa, and her work on the national board of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.


  • Creation: 1920-1987


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Passman Cohn, Jewish community activist, was born in 1913, in Charter Oak, Iowa, to Sam and Rose Passman. Soon after her birth, she moved with her parents and three siblings to Sioux City, Iowa, where her father worked as a broom manufacturer. Elizabeth Passman attended Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated in 1930. In 1936 she married Elmer Cohn and moved to Waterloo, Iowa.

Elizabeth Cohn, a housewife and mother of two, was active in civic as well as local and national Jewish organizations. She was a public speaker and an advocate for the empowerment of Jewish women. She was president of the Sons of Jacob Synagogue and a lifelong member of Hadassah and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. In her role as national board member of the Women’s League, Cohn organized an annual Women’s League conference in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1963.

After Elmer Cohn’s death in 1983, she married Samuel Epstein. She died July 15, 2006, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


5.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Community activist in civic and Jewish organizations in Waterloo, Iowa.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1429) were donated by Donna Leviton in 2015.

Elizabeth Cohn papers
Carla DeWit and Jeannette Gabriel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)