Born in 1888 in the small Ukranian town of Staro-Konstantinov, she was one of nine children, and helped support her family by working as a seamstress. Nevertheless, she showed an early interest in folk art woodcarvings and decorative objects, and began stuying art and literature after the family had emigrated to Palestine in 1905.
She was still working as a seamstress, when one of her brothers made it possible for her to go to Paris, ca. 1910, to study fashion design. She became part of a group of Russian artist and began to focus on drawing, painting, and then sculpture. In her sculpture work, she concentrated on portraits, nudes, and animals.