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Young Judaea Moves Closer Toward Operating Independently

Press Release
The Zionist youth movement has been under the auspices of Hadassah for more than 70 years

April 20, 2012

Pamela Vassil
Director, Marketing & Communications, Hadassah
(212) 303-8120 (o); (202) 303-4525 (f)

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

NEW YORK – Young Judaea inked an agreement this week that positions it “a short time away” from becoming an independent organization, the youth movement said today in a joint announcement with Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which has been its parent and sole sponsor since 1967.

Following Hadassah’s historic decision in June to create an independent Young Judaea, the new founding board of the youth movement worked with Hadassah on an accord that addresses all issues for Young Judaea to become autonomous, such as transitional support, property and asset transfers, trademark use, and the continued strategic partnership between the two organizations.

“We are now just a short time away from bringing Young Judaea to full independence,” said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan, adding that both organizations are focused on ensuring the smoothest transition possible and the youth movement’s future success. “We at Hadassah are very excited about our continued support of and involvement with Young Judaea, which is well known for developing many of the foremost Jewish leaders in the United States and in Israel.”

Young Judaea, the world’s premiere Zionist youth movement, reaches more than 5,000 Jewish youth each year from grade school through post-college. Its programs include five Jewish camps nationwide, including its national teen leadership camp, Tel Yehudah; year-round activities such as Alternative Winter Break, which gives students the opportunity to engage in social action during school breaks; and such Israel offerings as Year Course, the leading freshman gap-year program, Taglit-Birthright trips, and WUJS Israel post-college internships and arts programs.

The arrangement is expected to be finalized this summer, when inaugural executive director Simon Klarfeld will take the helm of the 103-year-old youth movement. Klarfeld, whose most recent professional accomplishments include transforming the Hillel at Columbia University, was named to the post in November. Since then, he has been working with the nine-member founding board of Young Judaea to navigate the transition and plan for the future of the movement, which has been associated with Hadassah for more than 70 years.

Don Ashkenase, a Young Judaea Founding Board member who heads the board's Finance Committee, signs the U.S. portion of the accord that gives the youth movement independence from its parent organization, Hadassah. Hadassah National President Marcie Natan (far right) signed on behalf of Hadassah. The accord was signed at Hadassah headquarters in New York on April 11, 2012. A second part of the accord was recently completed in Israel. Two other Founding Board members – Roni Schwartz (left), Hadassah Vice President and Coordinator of Young Judaea; and Shelley Sherman, Hadassah Vice President and former Coordinator of Young Judaea – also were present at the New York signing of the historic agreement.
Date: 4/20/2012 12:00:00 AM

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