Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah Henrietta Szold (1860-1945) is not only the fist president of Hadassah but a great influence for Jewish women with her accomplishments in the areas of health, education and social work. Szold was born in Baltimore, Maryland to her rabbi father that instilled a commitment to Jewish people which she exhibited in such acts as opening night school in 1888 for Russian Jewish immigrants. She continued her commitment to Zionism by joining the Zionist Association of Baltimore in 1897 and becoming the secretary of the Federation of American Zionists in 1910. In 1914 she was elected the first president of Hadassah – the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Soon after she became director of the American Zionist Medical Unit which ran what is now called the Henrietta Szold School of nurses and directed health work in Jewish schools. In 1934 she was appointed director of the Youth Aliyah Agency which she led the rescue of thousands Jewish children from Nazi occupied Europe. She was elected as a member of the executive of the World Zionist Organization to work on health and education initiatives and in 1939 she was offered a seat on Va’ad Le’umi or the National Council of Palestine.

Sources:

Jewish Women’s Archive: Jewish Women’s Archive.

Jewish Agency for Israel