Born in Brooklyn, the daughter of Louis and Kate Kapelsohn, she received a BA degree in English and French from Hunter College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA degree in childcare from the New York School of Social Work, Columbia University. In 1943, she found a position as a case worker for the Jewish Child Care Association where she worked in Child Placement. In May 1945, she volunteered for an overseas position in order to work in the Displaced Persons camps. She arrived in Paris in November 1945, and immediately began working with survivors in the area. She arrived in Germany in January 1946. She was assigned first to the DP camp in Leipheim, then to the DP camp in Bamberg. She was described as a "bright ray" in the desolation of the DP camps. In September 1946 she was assigned to a new DP camp in Cham. She took charge of a chaotic situation and worked long hours to transform the temporary camp into a well-organized facility. With her help, the eight thousand people who arrived at the camp were well cared for, and the camp was rendered redundant shortly thereafter. Late in 1946, she was posted in Dornstadt. On the night of December 15, the heating stove in her room malfunctioned and she died in her sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning. She was returned home some weeks later. She was 26.