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Hadassah Launches Centennial Year

Chapters and Regions across the United States celebrate 100 years of the national women’s organization,
prepare for opening of new hospital tower in Jerusalem
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 9, 2012

CONTACT: Pamela Vassil, Director, Marketing & Communications, 212 303 8120, pvassil@hadassah.org

HADASSAH LAUNCHES CENTENNIAL YEAR
Chapters and Regions across the United States celebrate 100 years of the national women's organization, prepare for opening of new hospital tower in Jerusalem

NEW YORK – Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, has launched a year of centennial anniversary celebrations, scheduled through 2012 including what will be a grand three-day milestone celebration in Jerusalem in October. The organization, founded in 1912 in New York City by Henrietta Szold and 30 other women, today numbers over 300,000 women members and men associates in the United States and supporters around the world.

"It takes my breath away that we are embarking upon our second century," said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan, who was elected as president this past July. "Hadassah planted its roots in Jerusalem before there was an Israel and in the United States before its founders had the right to vote. What a triumph, and what a reason to celebrate as we continue to make strides in health, education, advocacy and empowering women and girls to become leaders in their communities. Our centennial convention will be an event to remember. Some things only happen once in a lifetime."

During a yearlong membership drive in 2011, the number of national lifetime memberships increased by close to 60,000 people.

Hadassah chapters and regions across the United States are marking the organization's 100th anniversary through various activities. Temple Emanu-El in New York, where the organization was founded, will host a Hadassah rededication ceremony Friday, February 24. A new online exhibition, "Art at Hadassah," features artworks at Hadassah sites in Israel, and 100 Hadassah members share their Hadassah memories and moments through contributions to Thin Threads – Real Stories of Hadassah Life Changing Moments, a book commemorating how Hadassah has impacted individual members' lives.

"I look forward to gathering in Israel with over 2,000 Hadassah members and supporters from all over the United States and around the world," said Marlene Post, Centennial Co-Coordinator, "as together, we share and celebrate the impact our organization has had – and continues to have – on the landscape of Israel. From the Hadassah University Medical Center to the Hadassah College Jerusalem to the rescue of at-risk children through Youth Aliyah, from our Young Judaea Israel programs, to our partnership with the Jewish National Fund – for all of these projects, our support in Israel is valued at more than $1 billion over the years. Come join us and celebrate the works of our hands."

Hadassah surpassed total projected fundraising for calendar-year 2011 by $20 million. Ultimately bringing in $88 million in fundraising for calendar-year 2011, the organization had projected the total would reach $68 million. Hadassah's hugely successful fundraising last year included raising $22 million toward its Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in Jerusalem, $8 million beyond its projected fundraising for the tower. Calendar-year 2010 had brought in $16 million for the tower. By the end of 2011, Hadassah had successfully raised more than $260 million toward the new hospital tower campaign goal of $363 million.

During Hadassah's centennial convention in Jerusalem, which will be held October 15-18, 2012, and is a celebration Hadassah hase been excitedly anticipating for years, Hadassah members will dedicate the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, one of their crowning achievements in advancing health care. It will be their gift to the people of Jerusalem and all Israel. Hadassah will begin treating patients in the tower March 19.

Hadassah Medical Organization Director General Ehud Kokia, expressed his appreciation of Hadassah members. "I am very proud to have joined the very prestigious and very special Hadassah family, which has accepted me in an exceptionally warm way," he said. "I have tremendous faith in the future of the Hadassah Medical Organization because of the extraordinary people we have at the hospital from all disciplines.

"Right now, the entire medical center is engaged in the countdown to the opening of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. The patients we will welcome in March will reap the benefits of a building designed to enhance an already multidisciplinary approach. Its sophisticated equipment will assist our outstanding medical team in providing even better and more efficient care."

"At Hadassah, we are not waiting for the future," Natan echoed. "We are building it."

Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating its 100th year. Hadassah is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States. In Israel, it supports medical care and research, education and youth programs, and reforestation and parks projects. In the United States, Hadassah promotes health education, social action and advocacy, volunteerism, Jewish education and research, Young Judaea and connections with Israel. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.

Date: 2/14/2012
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