Today is National Voter Registration Day, of which Hadassah is an organizational partner. Visit the campaign website to learn about voter registration and search for events in your area. Remember, deadlines vary by state, so check with your state election offices for details.
Now is also the perfect time to become educated about Hadassah's history and commitment to civic participation. Founded during the height of the women's suffrage movement, Hadassah has a long history supporting civic engagement for its members and the electorate as a whole. The suffrage movement influenced and inspired Hadassah's leaders and policies.
Henrietta Szold's sister Rachel S. Jastrow—founder of Hadassah's second chapter in 1914 and a liaison to the Wisconsin Legislature for the Women's Suffrage Movement—was instrumental in helping Wisconsin become the first state to ratify women's right to vote.
In 1922, Hadassah's second National President Alice Seligsberg wrote about the influence of the American suffrage movement on women's role in the international Zionist movement. "I believe it is only through the suffrage movement that women have discovered how indispensable organization is, for the attainment not only of the rights, but also the influence in the community. . . . If women wish to contribute to the Zionist movement those talents that are peculiar to women, they must unite as women."
Since 1965, Hadassah's National Board has passed a series of Policy Statements in support of the Voting Rights Act, Universal Voter Registration Act, voting modernization, and increased voter participation. In addition to supporting civic participation, Hadassah has a full slate of Domestic Policy Statements on issues pertaining to women and family, religious liberty, social justice and civil rights.
Don't forget, Hadassah's Advocacy website also includes Hadassah's Israel, Zionist and International Affairs (IZAIA) Policy Statements, the National Action Center, and an archive of alerts and backgrounders. Anyone interested in receiving these alerts directly can register for the Email Action Network on the Hadassah website. Date: 9/25/2012