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Hadassah Foundation Announces New Leadership

Press Release
Ellen Flax named executive director; new board members also named

February 27, 2012

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

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, has hired a new executive director and named new board members.

The new executive director is Rabbi Ellen Flax, an experienced foundation and non-profit professional. She most recently served as the director of the Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship, which brings together rabbinical students from the Reform and Conservative movements in a formal study program for the first time. Prior to leading the fellowship, Flax was a senior consultant to the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF), which promotes Jewish causes in the United States and internationally. At CLSFF, she managed a portfolio of grants while overseeing the foundation's internal evaluation efforts.

Among her previous roles, she served as a consultant to the Genesis Philanthropy Group and as a program officer at the Picower Foundation, a family foundation. At Picower, she was charged with revamping its Jewish giving program, shifting its efforts from social-service projects to programs that bolster Jewish identity. In addition, she managed a portfolio of social service, arts, education and youth grants for leading secular nonprofits in New York and across the United States. Flax was director for education and outreach at the Jewish Funds for Justice.

Flax was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also earned a master's degree in Hebrew literature. She earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, in Soviet and Russian History from the University of Pennsylvania.

"I am thrilled, and honored, to direct the Foundation during this new stage of its development," Flax said. "The Foundation's mission--to improve the status of girls and women in the United States and Israel—is both timely and pressing."

In addition to naming Flax executive director, the Hadassah Foundation named new board officers: Chair, Donna Gerson of Philadelphia, Penn.; Treasurer, Trisha Margulies of Geneva, Ill.; and Secretary, Susan Wilkof of Canton, Ohio.

Also named to the board for the first time are:

Karen Herman is past President of the Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City, former President of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and was named "Woman of the Year" in Kansas City. Karen is a member of the Board of DeLaSalle Education Center.

Anne Glauber lives in New York and is a public relations executive with more than 25 years of experience working with a diverse range of corporations, institutions, government sectors and United Nations agencies. In 2002, Glauber founded the non-profit Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), an effort that builds businesses for women in regions of conflict and post-conflict, working specifically in Afghanistan, Rwanda and Israel. She is the president of the board of the American Friends of the Parents Circle, an Israeli and Palestinian co-existence initiative, and is a board member of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Women's eNews, and the East 55th Street Synagogue.

Sophie Blum, who lives in Israel, has been an executive with Procter & Gamble for the past 20 years. She has successfully fulfilled various global positions in marketing and global strategic business development in several categories and countries. Three years ago, she established in Israel the P&G Israel House of Innovation, now recognized as one of the leading hubs on the global P&G innovation network. Blum was nominated in 2008 as the Chairman of Board of Amutat TZEVA (a Hebrew acronym for "Young People Building a Future"). She serves on several boards of directors in the non-profit sector including Maala, an Israeli organization which promotes corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

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 and young women in the United States. Since 2000, the Hadassah Foundation has awarded grants totaling $5.7 million to 60 nonprofit organizations.

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: 2/27/2012 12:00:00 AM

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