Judas Watch

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Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America is an American Jewish volunteer women's organization. Founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold, it is one of the largest international Jewish organizations, with 330,000 members in the United States. Hadassah fundraises for community programs and health initiatives in Israel, including the Hadassah Medical Center, a leading research hospital in Israel renowned for its inclusion of and treatment for all religions and races in Jerusalem.




  • The core of future Hadassah education programs emerged when Jessie Sampter founded The Hadassah School of Zionism in New York in 1915. The school required chapter leaders to take courses, instituted a correspondence course and inspires other Hadassah chapters to create their own Schools of Zionism. Sampter published "A Course in Zionism," a collection of facts, essays, and reading lists financed by prominent American Zionist, Judge Louis Brandeis.


  • 1940: Hadassah and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) form the American Zionist Youth Commission, establishing Hadassah as Young Judaea's co-sponsor. Hadassah forms an American Affairs Committee, the core of today's American Affairs programs, reflecting Hadassah's concern with the ideals of democracy, freedom and justice in the U.S. and in the yishuv. War relief and defense of democracy are two immediate committee projects. Former Hadassah national president Rose Jacobs starts the Committee for the Study of Arab-Jewish Relations to promote "Zionism's unfinished agenda," co-existence between Palestine's two major populations.


  • 1959: HMO introduces open-heart surgery to Israel, installs the cobalt bomb for cancer therapy and graduates the first ten Israel-trained dentists from the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine. As part of Israel's ongoing commitment to aid developing nations, the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine begins training African and Asian doctors in cooperation with the World Health Organization and Israel's Foreign Ministry. The initiative later expands to include South American doctors.


  • 1988: At the invitation of U.S. AID, HMO medical staff members help plan, construct and open a hospital in Kinshasa, Zaire. Hadassah advocates for increased health services for those infected with HIV/AIDS and adequate funding for AIDS research in the U.S. The Hadassah Seligsberg-Brandeis Comprehensive High School is devolved to the Jerusalem municipality and relocates to East Talpiot. Expansion of Hadassah Community College begins.



  • 1989: At a historic pro-choice rally of 300,000 in Washington DC, Hadassah marches with women and men from across the U.S..



  • 1994: Hadassah, WZOA, receives the approval of the Zionist General Council for special status as a member of the World Zionist Organization, ensuring that Hadassah will be granted participation in all activities of the World Zionist Organization, as well as in every Congress, with a fixed delegation of 32 members.



  • 2000: In support of stricter gun control legislation, Hadassah members and friends join the Mother's Day Million Mom March in Washington D.C. and around the United States.



  • 2001: Hadassah is approved by the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a non-governmental organization (NGO), enabling Hadassah to lend its medical and social expertise to the international body.


  • Hadassah Magazine is a bimonthly magazine published out of Hadassah, WZOA's headquarters in Manhattan, covering news, politics and cultural topics, primarily for Jewish female audience. It has been in circulation since 1914, and in 1986 had 385,000 paid subscribers to its printed edition. The magazine gained additional readers in the early 2000s when it added its free online edition, though the move also brought a decline in the printed edition readership. The paid print circulation is now estimated at over 250,000.



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Last updated: Thu Sep 27 2018 19:35:28
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