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Hadassah provides Young Judaea with “strong leader” for transition


July 29, 2011

CONTACT: Samantha Friedman           
Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
(202) 265-3000 (o); (202) 215-9260 (c)




NEW YORK – Steven J. Goldberg, a longtime supporter of Young Judaea during his tenure as one of the top professionals at Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, will become the Interim Executive Director of the youth movement as it shifts toward independence from Hadassah, both organizations announced today.


Goldberg, currently Director of Hadassah’s Executive Division as well as its Member and Unit Services Division, initiated the transfer last month after its national board voted to spin off Young Judaea, which has five summer camps, year-round activities, and well-known Israel programs including WUJS Israel, Amirim, “To Israel Now” Birthright trips, and the college gap-year program, Year Course in Israel.  Young Judaea has long been recognized as turning out committed Zionist and Jewish community leaders.

Newly installed Hadassah National President Marcie Natan noted that it was a difficult decision to transfer Goldberg, a well-regarded strategic thinker and operational leader.  The request was ultimately granted because his passion and experience enhance Hadassah’s commitment to ensuring the success of Young Judaea’s future, she said.

“Steve is the go-to guy for many, many of Hadassah’s top lay leaders across the entire country, and his influence and guidance have been critical to our organization,” Natan said.  “It was very clear that this was an important move for him and that it would allow Hadassah to help get Young Judaea off to a great start.  Steve is a strong leader, and Young Judaea is in good hands.”

Goldberg, who previously lived in Israel and worked at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, is charged with leading Young Judaea’s transition to independence while maintaining a strong partnership between the organizations.  Among the terms of the arrangement are three years of transition funding, a transfer of Young Judaea assets, and continued scholarship support going forward. 

“Young Judaea is central to Hadassah’s values and ideals, and I am very excited to be a link that helps Hadassah continue its legacy with Zionist youth,” said Goldberg, 47, who has worked for Hadassah since 1997.  “I look forward to joining a remarkable team that will grow all of our programs with an eye on the future of the Jewish people.”

David Bechhofer, president of the Young Judaea founding board, said Goldberg’s successful track record of strengthening leadership infrastructure, improving governance, and providing executive management will be a vital asset to Young Judaea.  Goldberg will begin in his new role on an interim basis starting August 1.

“Steve is everything we could have hoped for in this role,” said Bechhofer, adding that Goldberg is uniquely qualified to orchestrate a collaborative transition with dedication and sound judgment.  “His experience and leadership will allow Young Judaea to transition to independence quickly.”

In Goldberg’s numerous high-level positions at Hadassah, he has overseen national business operations over Hadassah’s 28 regions throughout North America, which include 597 chapters and 408 groups, membership marketing, and educational programming.  He is recognized as spearheading a comprehensive new national business model for Hadassah to secure institutional and financial viability and quality program and product delivery to members and leaders.  Goldberg has been the advisor and confidante to four of the most recent national presidents of Hadassah and its 250-member board.

Goldberg lives in New York City.  A native of Waterford, Conn., he holds a degree in international relations with a concentration in cross-cultural negotiation from the University of Connecticut.



Young Judaea, the Zionist youth movement, challenges young people to become involved in social and educational activities that develop and sharpen their senses of Jewish and Zionist identity.  Since 1936, Hadassah has worked to strengthen Young Judaea, a youth movement started in 1909.  Through expansions of its national camping system, innovative year-round activities, and prestigious Israel programs, Hadassah strategically placed itself at the forefront of Zionist education and engagement for American Jewish youth.


In addition to Year Course, Young Judaea programs include Camp Tel Yehudah, Camp Judaea, Camp Young Judaea Midwest, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake, Camp Young Judaea Texas, Alternative Winter Break, Israel Summer Programs, Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, Amirim and WUJS Israel.


 For more information, please visit www.youngjudaea.org.


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