MEDIA INQUIRES CONTACT:
Renee Young, National Public Relations
(212) 303- 8140
PHILADELPHIA — Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), announced today that Ellen Hershkin was officially elected as the new National President at its annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The new national president, the organization's 26th in its 103rd year, will lead the 300,000-member organization through the beginning of Hadassah's second century, overseeing Hadassah's renowned efforts in the areas of groundbreaking medical research, support for Israel, public advocacy and leadership training for women. Outgoing National President Marcie Natan, whose term ends December 31, 2015, led the organization for four years, negotiating the historic agreement between the Government of Israel, Hadassah Medical Organization and HWZOA and advocating on key issues of national importance.
Since the beginning of her membership in 1973, Hershkin has held various leadership roles within Hadassah. In addition to serving on Hadassah's National Board and Executive Committee, Hershkin is a former board member of the Jewish National Fund and the United Israel Appeal Board. In May 2006, at its annual installation event, the Suffolk Council of Jewish Organizations bestowed its highest honor on her for her leadership, commitment and dedication to Jewish life. Throughout her 42 year membership in Hadassah, Hershkin has served as a national vice president, national secretary, the national coordinator of Young Judaea, national chair of Hadassah's Membership Outreach Department, the national chair of the Public Affairs Department and the National Office in Israel, national chair of Hadassah's Convention in 2004 and as a member on various committees throughout the organization.
Hershkin studied speech and education at Hofstra University and Jewish studies through a program of the Melton School of Jewish Education/Hebrew University. She was a travel consultant for 20 years and specialized in Israel travel.
As Hadassah continues to evolve, the national president-elect will be instrumental in guiding the organization through challenging circumstances and setting and achieving aggressive programing and financial goals. She will also play a vital role in attracting new women to join and advance the organization and in supporting the lifesaving research and care provided at Hadassah's two world-renowned hospitals and research center in Israel.
"I want to first thank Marcie Natan for her tireless commitment, devotion and leadership to Hadassah," said Hershkin. "During my past 42 years of service to Hadassah, I've witnessed the accomplishments of this outstanding organization and I am humbled to be the new National President. I am energized to continue Hadassah's critical work in saving lives through groundbreaking medical research at the Hadassah Medical Organization, and in empowering Jewish women to be leaders by addressing today's most relevant issues."
Outgoing Hadassah National President, Marcie Natan, said, "I consider Hadassah to be the jewel in the crown of women's organizations and I have been privileged to serve as the National President for the past four years. As I pass the torch to Ellen, I am confident she will lead Hadassah in continuing to achieve the great milestones that this organization is known for."
Natan served in Hadassah for 50 years as a volunteer prior to being elected National President. She has guided Hadassah with her strategic leadership, negotiation skills, integrity and passion.
During the meeting in Philadelphia, which is one of the 10 largest regions of Hadassah with more than 10,000 members, elections were also held for new National Board members and officers.
Hadassah is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters across the country, Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on criticalissues such as medical care and research, women's empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.