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Madison Hadassah Was There….

                        for 100 years, helping:

                                    eradicate diseases

                                    rescue and resettle holocaust survivors

                                    train doctors and nurses

                                    build and run hospitals

                                    support education

                                    And much more in Israe



 Did you know that Madison Hadassah was the third Hadassah chapter in the world?.


It started in 1914. Two years after Henrietta Szold founded the first Hadassah chapter in New York, she came to Madison to visit her sister Rachel Szold Jastrow, and her sister’s husband, a professor of Psychology at the University.  While visiting, Henrietta attended a meeting of Rachel’s study group. At that meeting Henrietta and Rachel organized a new Hadassah chapter which included a group of 14 Madison Zionist women. Years later, the chapter would be renamed, the Rachel S. Jastrow Hadassah Chapter.


 This group of progressive womeTheir first order of business was to sew clothes to send to Palestine. Soon they were helping to send nurses with supplies to take care of women and children.


Trachoma, a chronic contagious conjunctivitis, was prevalent in the Middle East, causing babies and young children to go blind. One of Hadassah’s early projects was to hire a Hadassah eye doctor to treat these children, who eventually eradicated this dreaded disease.  Madison Hadassah was there by distributing dime size boxes, called eye banks, to fill with $10.00 worth of dimes, which enabled us to send the needed funds to the national organization.


Madison Hadassah was there supporting projects in 1948, which helped rescue and resettle Holocaust survivors to the new State of Israel, especially children to Hadassah’s Youth Aliyah villages.


In 1962, when the Hadassah Hospital at Ein Kerem opened, two Madison Hadassah women were there, Anita Parks and Fran Weinstein. And in October, 2012 when the new Sarah Wetsman- Davidson Hospital Tower will be dedicated, two more Madison Hadassah women, Debbie Minkoff, and Barbara Meyers Temkin will be there.


The Yom Kippur War, Hadassah and Collector’s Corner


Madison Hadassah has been linked to Israel and Hadassah Hospital, especially in times of war. During the 1973 war, Hadassah and United Jewish Appeal, two Jewish organizations, were authorized to raise money for the new state of Israel. Madison Hadassah held an auction, a sacrifice sale.  The entire Jewish community and a large part of the non-Jewish community donated items to the auction. The auction raised $10,000 for Israel in one evening.


So many treasures remained after the auction, the organizers, Judy Schreiber, Karen Venezky, and Tina Krasno, rented a space in Shorewood Shopping Center for just three months to sell the remaining items. The lease never expired, and thirty-eight years later the store remains open.  Collector’s Corner, a Jewish Madison institution, has become the best upscale consignment resale store in our community.


Collector’s Corner needs volunteers and donations including high quality clothing and household goods for resale. All of the proceeds go to Hadassah Hospital and other Hadassah projects.

(To help call Marney Scheele, 274-1032).


Hadassah Estate Sale History


Shortly after the founding of Collector’s Corner, the store became the nerve center for another Madison Hadassah fundraising project, Estate Sales. However, the first Madison Hadassah Estate Sale actually happened ten years before Collector’s Corner was born.


In 1963, Roselle Elkind was president of the chapter. In the middle of her term, the Elkind family moved to California, taking very little, and leaving a house full of items for the Rachel S. Jastrow women to sell. So in 1963, Anita Parks mustered together a staff of faithful volunteers to evaluate and price the items for sale. Madison Hadassah does about two Estate Sales a year still under the leadership of Anita Parks.



We are still there and hoping to grow

The Rachel S. Jastrow Hadassah chapter has over 400 members and is trying to introduce more women to the importance of Hadassah in Israel and the U.S.  Our chapter has clout in numbers when Hadassah lobbies on behalf of Israel and medical research.  Hadassah also needs volunteers to help with its many projects.


To join, call Laura Kassel  (608)695-2872 or go to the National Hadassah website at www.hadassah.org


For more information about Madison’s Hadassah contact Corliss Karasov at (608)831-6521.or go to the Madison Hadassah website  www.hadassah.org/madisonwisconsin. We are also on Facebook at Rachel S. Jastrow Hadassah Facebook.


Welcome to 

the Rachel S. Jastrow Chapter

the Nation's Second Hadassah Chapter





Madison's Hadassah chapter, founded in 1914, was the second Hadassah chapter established in the United States thanks to Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) and her sister, Rachel S. Jastrow.

Our chapter is named after Rachel S. Jastrow in recognition of her many remarkable contributions including:
  • Her efforts to co-found the Madison Hadassah Chapter
  • Her tenure as a liaison to the Wisconsin Legislature for the Women's Suffrage Movement.
  • Her efforts helped Wisconsin become the first state to ratify women's right to vote. 
  • Her involvement in the foundation of Meriter Hospital. 

Rachel Jastrow's husband was the first Jewish professor at the University of Wisconsin.

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