Jennie N. Philipsborn, 78, who had been active in community affairs here, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at her home in Washington.

A third-generation Washingtonian, she was a graduate of Western High School. She attended George Washington University and studied piano with concert pianist Alice Burbage. She also taught piano.

Mrs. Phillipsborn was a nurse's aide at the old Mount Alto Veterans Hospital and Walter Reed Army Hospital during World War II and after the war.

She had been active in the National Council of Jewish Women and was a member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

Her first husband Maurice Kafka, who had been associated with Sidney's Orchestra Inc., died in 1947. She later married Martin M. Phillipsborn Sr., a financier of Chicago and Zion, Ill. He died about 10 years ago.

Mrs. Phillipsborn had divided her time between her home here and a summer residence in Blue Summit Ridge, Pa.

She is survived by a daughter of her first marriage, Barbara Jean K. Ogus of Alexandria; two brothers, Dr. George Nordlinger and Bernard I. Nordlinger, both of Washington, and two grandchildren.

Also surviving are three step-children, John Philipsborn of London, Elaine Heilprin of LaJolla, Calif., and Minna Philipsborn of Towson, Md.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice.