Lady Davis was born in San Francisco but spent most of her life in Paris, France,where she created a Vacation Colony for poor children and was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Government for her philanthropic work.
Following the outbreak of World war II, Lady Davis came to Montreal, where she resided until her passing on December 21, 1963.After the termination of World War II, she created the Lady Davis Foundation which was devoted to the bringing of refugee scientists and scholars to Canada. She was greatly interested in the work of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and McGill University.
Several years prior to Lady Davis' death, she set up another Foundation through the good offices of Louis M. Bloomfield and Bernard M. Bloomfield, for Canadian Jewish charitable purposes. Through substantial grants from the foundation, the Canadian Histadrut Campaign has been enabled to build, develop and expand its Amal School Network in Israel.
The Lady Davis Fellowship Trust in Israel is another educational institution which benefits from an endowment granted by the Foundation.