Hadassah 98th National Convention

The Power of Our Dreams

More than 950 Hadassah members, speakers, Associates and supporters brought energy and passion to Atlanta for Hadassah’s 98th National Convention. Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin captivated attendees in her opening-night speech, touching on how the Power of Dreams is contagious, ending with a powerful charge that we go "from strength to strength" and "from dream to dream...for women everywhere.”

"In understanding what Hadassah does, I feel that I should be the one honoring YOU all," actress, advocate, and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow said when honored ‪with Hadassah's Power of Our Dreams Award. Paltrow talked about her family heritage, which includes more than 30 rabbis, her own spiritual connection to Judaism, and family. Henrietta Szold 2016 Awardee Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, talked about his “relationship with Hadassah... a love affair that has spanned 40 years,” he said. “Thank you for all that you do, all the time."

Director General Zeev Rotstein of the Hadassah Medical Organization brought a riveted audience up to speed on Hadassah’s cutting-edge research and top-rated care, and former HMO patient Liana Alvarez, a trauma victim ran up to the stage: "If it wasn't for Hadasah I wouldn't be alive -- or entering marathons. In a conversation about the intersection of Jewish identity and feminism, Ms. Magazine founder and author Letty Cottin Pogrebin talked with her daughter, journalist and author (and synagogue president) Abigail Pogrebin about their very different personal Jewish journeys. With deeply divergent views, two very different Zionists — Caroline Glick and Rob Eshman — discussed Israel and the Diaspora. In mid-August, Hadassah will share the full conversation online as part of our provocative Defining Zionism (DZ) series. And the audience followed along eagerly as a powerful panel about "Advocating for Gender Equity in Medicine" — with Phyllis Greenberger, Dr. Pamela Ouyang, and Dr. Nanette Wenger — discussed long and short term strategies and successes.

Four highly outstanding women from the medical, legal and corporate worlds — Judge Ellen Steinberg, Dr. Anne Shuchat, Esther Panitch and Anita Zucker — were honored as Hadassah Women Who DO. Kathy Manning, Zoya Raynes, Dov Wilker and Janice Weinman discussed the new trends in the Jewish community.

And everyone kicked up their heels during live performances by musicians Julie Silver and Joshua Nelson, dancing late into the night.


Get a real sense of the power and Convention through these daily briefings.

Monday 7/25
Tuesday 7/26
Wednesday 7/27
Thursday 7/28

New Policy Statements

Delegates to the Hadassah National Convention passionately debated and unanimously passed new Hadassah Policy Statements on Zionism, UN Reform, LGBTQ Equality, and Caregiving. These four statements reaffirm and expand Hadassah’s existing Policy Statements.


Convention Videos: Watch & Share

Plenaries, Galas and more...


Our Online Photo Gallery

See for yourself all the highlights of convention, with photographs of speakers, attendees, donor events, galas, and more.


Thank You, Donors

Thank you so much for making our Convention a huge success. We're grateful to each and every donor attending Convention who together contributed more than $2.5 million. You helped achieve our dreams. If you have not made a Convention gift yet, there is still time! Our goal is to raise another $500,000. You can feel the power of those 4 days here on this page. Become a Keeper of the Gate, donate online or text in a pledge. Please don’t delay, be part of our success.

Thank You, Sponsors

Thank you to all the sponsors who helped make our 98th National Convention such a success.

Hadassah 98th National Convention Videos

Convention 7-25 Ellen Screen

Monday, Jul 25 2016

Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah National President

Watch Ellen Hershkin on celebrating dreams in Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr. and the depth and breadth of Hadassah's work in the US and Israel.

Convention 7-25 Carol Ann Merna Screen

Monday, Jul 25 2016

Carol Ann Schwartz & Merna Shapiro, National Convention Chairs

Convention Chair Carol Ann Schwartz and Vice Chair Merna Shapiro brought grace and humor and many thank-yous to attendees with a shout-out to first-timers and to the Power of Our Dreams.

Convention 7-25 Janice Screen

Monday, Jul 25 2016

Janice Weinman, Hadassah Executive Director/CEO

Hear Janice Weinman talk about how Hadassah impacts lives, globally and individually.

Convention 7-25 Presidents Walk Screen

Monday, Jul 25 2016

Introducing our Region Presidents and National Leaders

Region presidents danced across the center stage to the sound of "Happy," the Pharrell Williams song, clearly proud to be part of this Convention tradition. Also introduced were Hadassah National VP's, Officers, and Past National Presidents.

convention tuesday plenary4 play

Tuesday, Jul 26 2016

Plenary: New Trends in the Jewish Communal World

Janice Weinman, Kathy Manning, Zoya Raynes, and Dov Wilker discuss strategies for keeping younger Jews engaged in Jewish communal organizations in the face of declining memberships.

convention tuesday plenary3 play

Tuesday, Jul 26 2016

Plenary: Against All Odds, Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO)

Dr. Rachel Schonberger, HMO chair opens this session with a tribute to Past National President and Tower chair Bonnie Lipton. Videos and speakers show how HMO goes to all lengths to saves lives even when the odds of survival are low.

convention tuesday plenary2 play

Tuesday, Jul 26 2016

Plenary: Hadassah Achieves the Dream: Building Global Partnerships

Learn more about Hadassah International and new collaborations from Joyce Rabin, Hadassah International (HI) President, Dalia Itzik, the Chair of the HI Israel Board of Trustees; Meir Mark, Director of Hadassah Israel; Jorge Diener, and HI Director Melissa Kaplan.

convention paltrow play

Tuesday, Jul 26 2016

Gwyneth Paltrow, Power of Our Dreams Honoree

Oscar-Winning Actress Gwyneth Paltrow talks about her family heritage, which includes more than 30 rabbis, her own spiritual connection to Judaism, acts of kindness, and family.

convention tuesday plenary1 play

Tuesday, Jul 26 2016

Plenary: Hadassah Achieves the Dream: Jewish Continuity and a Love of Israel

Our Youth Aliyah Villages and Young Judaea programs have a lifelong impact on the young people. See why.

Defining Zionism Screen

Wednesday, Jul 27 2016

Defining Zionism in the 21st Century

Learn how Hadassah is leading crucial conversations around Israel, Zionism and our future.

Iron Dome Screen

Wednesday, Jul 27 2016

Plenary: Israeli Security Meets Modern Tech—The Iron Dome

Learn how the Iron Dome works from the man whose company built it, Natan Barak, the CEO and Founder of mPrest.

Convention Gala Screen

Wednesday, Jul 27 2016

Wednesday Evening Gala Banquet

This packed lineup includes 50 years of Associates, and Marcie Natan presenting the 2016 Henrietta Szold Award to Malcolm Hoenlein, who spoke persuasively about Israel’s strength as a startup nation, the meaning of Tisha B’av, and BDS, urging action.

Gender Equity Screen

Wednesday, Jul 27 2016

Plenary: Advocating for Gender Equity in Medicine #GEM

Phyllis Greenberger, Dr. Pamela Ouyang, and Dr. Nanette Wenger discuss long-and short-term strategies, plus major wins for women's health and what you can do.

Achieving Dream Screen

Wednesday, Jul 27 2016

Plenary: Women Achieving the Dream—Honoring Women Who DO

Four highly outstanding women from the medical, legal and corporate worlds — Judge Ellen Steinberg, Dr. Anne Schucchat, Esther Panitch and Anita Zucker — were honored as Hadassah Women Who DO.


Thursday, Jul 28 2016

Women Who Advocate

Find out more about the Power of Women Who Advocate -- and Hadassah's advocacy initiatives and successes. Plus, how you can get involved.

Convention Closing Ceremony

Thursday, Jul 28 2016

Thursday Closing Ceremony

How to build momentum around the Power of Our Dreams after the Hadassah 98th National Convention. Thanks yous, chapter and individual awards, and highlights of four powerful days in Atlanta.



Find more pictures, comments and conversations on social media. Just look for the hashtag #HadassahConv2016 on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Text a Pledge

Text a pledge to Hadassah today . Choose to fund either the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower or research at HMO. Either way, you'll be saving lives.

It is as simple as 1-2-3

  1. Grab your cell phone, Open a new text message then enter the number: 347-801-CURE (2873)
  2. Type your full name, pledge amount, and a short personal message along with your designation: Tower or Research
  3. Press SEND!

Remember no gift is too small to make a difference. Grab your cell phone now — and text your pledge to 347-801-CURE (2873).

The power to cure is in your hands.

Convention Press Room

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