Modern medicine, child rescue and educational innovation - these are among the achievements of the dynamic partnership between Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America and the people of Israel. American Jewish women, under the leadership of Henrietta Szold, joined together in 1912 to form Hadassah and to transform the deplorable state of health in pre-state Israel. Within a decade they established Tipat Chalav, the well-baby mother and child clinics, as well as family clinics throughout the country. To address the shortage of professional health staff, a Nursing School - the first post-high school education for women - was opened in 1918, with over 400 women applying for the 40 seats in the first class. Hadassah opened hospitals from Safed to Beer Sheba, offering modern western medical care combined with medical research.
The flagship hospitals in Jerusalem have, from the beginning, attracted patients from around the Middle East for superb medical care. Despite political tensions, the hospitals have served as a bridge for peace and the Hadassah Medical Organization was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
Early on, Hadassah joined forces with Keren Kayemet le'Yisrael in nation-building projects, draining of the Hula Valley swamp, constructing the Haifa Port and contributing to the construction of the first reservoir.
As the winds of war were sweeping across Europe in the 1930's Henrietta Szold took on the mantle of Youth Aliyah, helping to settle thousands of fleeing youngsters iii youth villages and kibbutzim. Hadassah pioneered technological education in its youth villages, in the Brandeis and Seligsberg High schools in Jerusalem and later in the
Hadassah College of Technology. Tens of thousands of Diaspora teenagers have visited Israel on Hadassah-backed Young Judaea study programs.
Hadassah is beginning a second century of unyielding Zionist commitment by dedicating its largest project yet - the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower on the Ein Kerem medical campus.
Hadassah remains the largest Jewish organization in the world and the largest women's organization in America, with increased membership of more than 330,000 women and tens of thousands of male associates.
Public Relations Director, Israel
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America