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Hadassah Foundation Elects New Board

Former WNBA President Donna Orender elected to her third two-year term

NEW YORK – The Hadassah Foundation, which seeks to augment the work of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, by improving the status, health and well-being of women and girls in the United States and Israel, elected new members to its board of directors and reelected current members, announced Nancy Falchuk, National President of Hadassah, and Carol M. Joseph, Foundation Board Chair.  Board members were elected to serve two-year terms that began January 1 and will end on December 31, 2012.

Donna Orender, who recently left her position as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association, was elected to her third term.  She is launching Orender Unlimited, which in addition to strategic consulting on behalf of clients both in and out of the sports world, also will focus on creating content and events that will serve to both inspire and educate girls and women.

“I serve on the board because I was invited to do so, and I think my fellow board members and I both felt that with my experience in the broader world of girls and women – how society feels about them, how culture responds to them and the kinds of programs available to them – my background would be of service to the Hadassah Foundation’s vital work improving the future for women,” Orender, of Jacksonville, Fla., said.  “I have been fortunate in my career to work on behalf of both women and young women.  I was really taken by the foundation’s mission to evaluate and help to fund worthy programs in the U.S. and Israel that positively and productively impact the lives of women and girls.  Since becoming involved, I have met wonderful and inspirational women, and I have become engaged in organizations that are doing terrific work to change the lives of lots of people for the better.”

The Hadassah Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of 18 women, including members of the National Board of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, members of Hadassah and representatives from the Jewish community at large.  Newly elected members are: Sara Adler of Miami Beach, who is the Florida director of the New Israel Fund; Kim Morris Heiman of Cincinnati, who is president of SK Textile, Inc., a decorative products manufacturer; Rabbi Suzanne Offit of Newton, Mass., Rabbi and Staff Chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife, an integrated system of housing, healthcare and medical research serving the elderly in the Boston area; Lonye Rasch of Short Hills, N.J., communications chair for Hadassah International and a member of Hadassah’s national board; and Susan Wilkof of Canton, Ohio, who chaired the 100th anniversary celebration for Young Judaea and is a member of Hadassah’s national board.

The Hadassah Foundation is dedicated to refocusing the priorities of the Jewish community through funding innovative and creative projects that serve women and girls from diverse cultural groups within Israel and the Jewish community in the United States.  The foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of economic security for low-income Israeli women and leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls in the United States.  Since 2000, the Hadassah Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in grants to nearly 60 nonprofit organizations.

“The members of the Hadassah Foundation Board are extraordinary women who have demonstrated a unique commitment to progress for women and girls, either in their professional work or in their philanthropic efforts,” Joseph said.  “It is the combination of their diverse backgrounds and experiences that ultimately allows the foundation to carry out its crucial work in the realm of social change from a perspective rooted in Jewish values.”

The Hadassah Foundation, founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is dedicated to refocusing the priorities of the Jewish community through innovative and creative funding for women and girls in the United States and Israel. For more information, visit www.hadassahfoundation.org.

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