Home > What we do > US Initiatives > Nurses' Council

Hadassah's National Center for Nurses' Councils

Mission Statement | In The News | Fundraising Campaigns | News from the Councils | Keepers for Nursing


Hadassah's origins are deeply embedded in the nursing profession. The organization's first project was to send two American-trained nurses to Jerusalem in 1913. Hadassah Nurses' Councils were formed to establish an international partnership with the Hadassah Medical Organization nurses In Israel.

The mission: to enhance and support the nursing profession in the United States and Israel by meeting the special educational, social and professional concerns of Jewish/Zionist nurses in both countries. Currently, there are approximately 3,400 nurses who are members of the 35 Nurses' Councils in the United States. Whether you want to work in support of Israel, are looking for interesting ways to earn CEUs or simply want to make new friends who share your background and interests, a Hadassah Nurse's Council is for you.

From Concept to Cure:
An Accredited Continuing Education Conference in Israel

Meet the Nurses

The True Story of Hadassah

The Nurses Who Started Hadassah

Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy

As an American nurse, I feel deeply honored to be asked to share a few words with you about Rose Kaplan (no relation) and Rachel Landy (nicknamed Rae). Most of you know that Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy were the 2 American nurses recruited by Henrietta Szold to go to Palestine for Hadassah in 1913.

Rose Kaplan was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States when she was 25 years old. After graduating from Mount Sinai Hospital Training School for Nurses, she served as a nurse in the Spanish-American War. She was 45 years old when Hadassah hired her to travel to Palestine.

Rachel Landy, on the other hand, was only 27 years old. She was born in Lithuania, 1 of 7 children of a rabbi. When she was 3 years old, her family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. At age 19, Rachel graduated with the first class of nursing students sponsored by the Jewish Women's Hospital Association, a precursor to Mount Sinai Hospital, in Cleveland. She was an assistant superintendent of Harlem Hospital in New York City.

Henrietta chose Rose and Rachel from 21 applicants. Rose signed up for 2 years; Rachel for 2 ½. In spite of their age difference, Rose and Rachel got along well.

The original plan was for Rose and Rachel to set up a district visiting nurses system. With financial assistance from Nathan and Ida Straus, Rose and Rachel set up the Hadassah Nurses Settlement in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem. Although Rose and Rachel first took care of maternity patients, they discovered they needed to treat many patients with trachoma, an eye disease. In their first year, they treated 5000 children with eye disease, 20% of whom had trachoma.

Left to Right: Dr. Orly Toren-Associate Director of Nursing, Research & Development Ein Kerem Campus; Esther Shapiro, RN, BS, Chair Hadassah Alumni, USA; Miri Rom, PhD- Director & Associate Dean Henrietta Szold-Hadassah- Hebrew University School of Nursing; Beverly Goldsmith, RN, MSN, Co-chair Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Council; Pennie Branden, PhD, RN, CNM co-chair Hadassah's National Nurses Advisory Board; Judith Steiner Freud, RN Professor Emeritus, Henrietta Szold; Rita J. Lourie, RN, MSN, MPH, Co-chair Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils;
Although at first the local doctors had looked at Rose and Rachel with suspicion, their feelings changed as the 2 nurses cared for patients with dysentery, typhoid, and malaria in addition to trachoma. Rose and Rachel worked tirelessly not only in the eye clinic and settlement house, but also with children in schools to prevent trachoma. Rose and Rachel also taught midwives proper hand washing and other hygienic practices to lessen the high maternal mortality rate, where 1 of every 2 women died in childbirth.


After World War I broke out in 1914, Rose and Rachel returned to the United States. Rose requested that Hadassah send her to a refugee camp in Alexandria, Egypt, for Jews expelled from Palestine. While in the United States, she underwent surgery for cancer, but chose to return to work in spite of her poor prognosis. Rose never told her American sponsors about her cancer. She died in Alexandria at age 49 and is buried on the Mount of Olives.

Upon her return, Rachel entered the United States Army Nurse Corps. She served in Germany, Belgium, France, and the Philippines. Rachel rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and in 1944 was named Chief of Nurses at Crile General Hospital in Cleveland. Until her death at age 66, Rachel worked with the Cleveland Red Cross and recruited nurses for Mount Sinai Hospital. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

As we dedicate this room in their honor today, let each of us rededicate ourselves to follow their example and be the best nurses we can be. May Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy inspire each of us to carry on the life-sustaining and life-enhancing work of Hadassah in their memory.

Thank you.

Shown at the Hadassah Centennial Gala, October 15, 2012

In The News

Nurses: What's New, What's Hot in Israel:

Join Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils and Learn from the Partnership of the Nursing Division of the Hadassah Medical Organization,the faculty of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah Hebrew University of Nursing and the nurses in the United States. Email us at Nursescouncils@hadassah.org.

Earn CEU's. We are now registered as a CEU Provider using the web services of CE Broker. Our nursing contract hours are approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing, an approved educational provider, for nurses and programs nationwide. We can handle all aspects of continuing education activities including tracking for individual nurses and approval of providers. If you want to organize a program that provides CEUs for your nurses' councils, please click here for further instructions.

Hadassah's Task Force for Nursing

Hadassah's Nurses' Councils are addressing the growing nursing shortage in the United States. This project was originally supported by a grant from Johnson & Johnson. Members of Hadassah Nurses' Councils visit local middle and high schools to speak to students at assemblies and on career days to talk face–to–face with prospective nursing students. As the nurses talk to the students about their experiences, the joys and benefits they have experienced, they encourage the students to choose nursing as a career. The nurses conduct a Q&A, counsel them on a one–to–one basis regarding their nursing school and program choices. If you would like to join this exciting project or would like your chapter to become involved, please contact nursescouncils@hadassah.org or call (212) 303-8183.

Excerpts from a letter sent by Dr. Miri Rom, Director, Hadassah School of Nursing, February 8, 2012

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

It is with great pride and happiness that Dr. Miri Rom the director of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University. School of Nursing, wrote to inform us of the recent monumental changes in faculty appointments and opportunities at the School of Nursing.

In February, 2012, three faculty members were granted academic appointments with the faculty of Medicine at The Hebrew University. This is the first appointment for each, Dr. Yaffa Zisk Rony, Senior Lecturer; Dr. Michal Libergal, Clinical Senior Lecturer; and Dr. Ilana Kadmon, Clinical Senior Lecturer.

Dr. Miri Rom sends this announcement as a "gift from the School of Nursing" for Hadassah's upcoming Centennial Celebrations in October, 2012.

Dr. Miri Rom personally congratulated and saluted all three nurses for their motivation, hard work, and dedication.

The impact of their nursing practice will be generated in the School of Nursing, in nursing practice throughout HMO, and in the health care system throughout the State of Israel. Dr. Rom continued that the School of Nursing now has five faculty members with academic appointments with the Faculty of Medicine at the school. This is a "dream come true", and Dr. Rom stated more will be appointed in future years.

Dr. Rom thanks all of us, who shared the vision and challenges that needed to be met. Dr. Rom thanks us for showing them the way, supporting Hadassah Nurses in Israel throughout the years, and believing in their professional expertise. Dr. Rom sincerely thanks us all.

Dianne Gottlieb and Rita Lourie Co-chairs, Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils

Nurses for Nurses: 2012 fundraising campaigns

Keepers for Nursing

Donations from Nurse Keepers' of the Gate will be directly earmarked for the nursing budget of Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO). Funds will be earmarked for nursing staffing positions, to support faculty positions at the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, and other nursing budgetary items.

Your donation will directly benefit nurses at Hadassah Hospitals, Ein Kerem and Mt. Scopus, out-patient clinic facilities, and the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing. Become a Keeper for Nursing by making a contribution to Hadassah of $1000 annually. Know that you are supporting your fellow Hadassah nurse colleagues in Israel, and working to raise the image and status of nurses in Israel and provide quality health care to Israel's residents. For more information on becoming a Keeper for Nursing, please contact Donor services at donorservices@hadassah.org or 1.800.928.0685.

Nurses' Council Tower Equipment Campaign: Phase III


Nurses' Council groups and Hadassah School of Nursing Alumni Association members have started a campaign to raise $36,000 to equip a State of the Art patient room in Cardiology in the new Sarah Wetsman-Davidson Tower of Hadassah Hospital in honor of Yehudit Steiner Freud, RN, MPH, esteemed nursing leader and creator of the BSN program at Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University, School of Nursing.

A beautiful plaque recognizing this contribution will appear on the Donor Recognition Wall in Promenade on the main floor of the Tower!!!

Both individual & chapter donations are encouraged, and should be forwarded to: Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils Tower Equipment Campaign, Hadassah, 50 West 58 St. NY, NY 10019

The code NCTEC needs to be written on all donations. For questions or additional information, contact Rosemarie Torres at 212-303-4543 or rtorres@hadassah.org.

For questions or additional information regarding Nurses Council fundraising campaigns & donations, please contact Dianne Gottlieb or Rita Lourie, Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils Co-Chairs, at dgottlieb@hadassah.org or rlourie@hadassah.org.

Taskforce for Nursing program

Hadassah's Task Force for Nursing is now entering its eighth year! Hadassah nurses visit local schools, participate in career days, and other school programs to promote the importance of the nursing profession. Started in 2004 with support through a Johnson & Johnson grant, this national initiative educates the general public and students of all ages about the importance and potential of a nursing career.

  • In the 2011-2012 school year, the TFN program has reached 2046 students at 10 different schools across the country. These schools include middle schools, high schools, and colleges. There are currently 8-10 actively involved presenters, and other nurses have expressed in participating for the 2012-2013 school year.
  • Funding that allowed us to hire our fabulous Shaena Grossman, M.Ed., Administrative Assistant/Program Coordinator sgrossman@hadassah.org will end the last day in May 2012.
  • Sandy Ottenberg has graciously volunteered to be the Volunteer Liaison for the TFN.
  • Across the country. These schools include middle schools, high schools, and colleges. There are currently 8-10 actively involved presenters, and other nurses have expressed in participating for the 2012-2013 school year.
  • If you are interested in participating in this program for the 2012 school year. Email Sandy Ottenberg sottenberg@verizon.net or call Sandy at 732 505 5953

Check out Hadassah's Taskforce for Nursing's Facebook page for the latest news & more information about getting involved in the Taskforce!

News from the Councils:

  • Connecticut: Nurses Honored in Connecticut Region
  • Los Angeles: Hadassah Nursing Council member Ellen Olshansky, DNSc, RN, director of the Program in Nursing Science at the University of California, Irvine published the following article! My Daughter (or Even Son) the Nurse: Jews in Nursing and the Healing Role of Nurses by Ellen Olshansky

*Yaffa Zisk Rony is a graduate of the BSN program at the Hadassah SON, received her MPH from the Hadassah HU School of Public Health, and her PhD from UPenn in Philadelphia. She studied with Professor Barbara Medoff Cooper, who served as her advisor. Yaffa completed two post doctorate courses, one at Yale University and the other at University of Wisconsin. Yaffa holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor position at the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania. Her specialty is in pediatric nursing. Her research interests include pediatric acute pain assessment and management, parental acute pain management at home, parental cancer pain management at home, pain and culture, pain as a public health concern, pediatric trauma, patient and family-centered care, child involvement in everyday healthcare decisions, and quality of life in chronic conditions. Yaffa Zisk Rony holds a dual appointment at Hadassah – she is a senior faculty member at the SON, teaching in the areas of pediatric nursing and research. She is a research advisor and coordinator for the Maternal-Child Nursing Division. Yaffa is also a Forensic Nurse with Bat Ami Center for Victims of Sexual Assault at Hadassah and is also involved nationally in this area.

**Miki, Michal Libergal, is a midwife who maintains a global professional perspective on women's health and specializes in women's pelvic floor health. She earned her MPH and PhD at the Hadassah HU School of Public Health with a focus on health promotion, and did a post doctorate at the Ben Gurion University in this area. Her innovative PhD research focused on demonstrating the effectiveness of the Paula method in alleviating incontinence. Miki is the coordinator of the Women's Health Forum at the SON, an excellent and much appreciated teacher for her innovative teaching strategies. Miki has a dual appointment at Hadassah. She is a senior faculty member at the SON, and works as a midwife at the delivery room at Hadassah. This month, due to her very unique specialty, Miki was appointed to be the coordinator for the new Pelvic Floor Clinic (recently opened) at Hadassah to work collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team of this clinic and offering patients her own services which she was already providing, in a formal framework in the organization. So she deserves double congratulations!

***Ilana Kadmon is a graduate of the BSN program at the Hadassah SON, and received her Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in the area of psychosocial aspects of breast cancer with a focus on models of patients' decision making. Ilana serves in a dual position at Hadassah. She is a senior faculty member at the SON, the co-coordinator of the Masters program, specifically the oncology tract, teaching in both the BSN and the MSN programs. At the hospital, she serves as the coordinator of breast cancer. Ilana was the first breast coordinator in the country, and Hadassah was the first hospital to establish this role. Throughout the years Ilana served nationally and internationally as an advisor in the establishment of this role. Ilana serves on numerous national and international professional forums. She is a member of National Council for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Cancer; a board member of the Israeli Cancer Nursing Association; and a board Member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS). She was also a member of Expert Panel for building a European curriculum in breast cancer nursing of the EONS.


Help us raise money to keep the Nurses Clinical Masters Program going at Hadassah Medical Organization

Thank you to all of the
Honorees for the
Nurses First! Campaign

Phyllis Bismanovsky
Linda Boteach
Derryl Block
Barbara Cohen
Becky Engel
Nancy Falchuk
Nikki Feldman
Betsy Frank
Phyllis Gale
Debra Kaner Goldich
Beverly Goldsmith
Leslie Goodwin
Dianne Gottlieb
Phyllis Hoffman
Terri Jasner
Marian Kaplan
Dorthy Lasensky
Linda Levy
Rita Lourie
Carol Matoren
Helaine Ohayon
Irene Pearlman
Marlene Post
Nancy Rapoport
Judith Reishtein
Ellen Rosen
Jody Pollack Roth
Linda Samson
Esther Shapiro
Robin Shuman
Bonnie Siegal
Phyllis Simpson
Carrie Stein
Helene Storch
Nancy Wagner
Adam and Jodi Weinstein
Margaret Weinstein

Add Your Name

With a gift of $100 or more your name will be added to the Nurses First! Honor Roll

   |  Who We Are  |  What We Do  |  Where We Do It  |  Read About It  |  Join Now  |  Donate  |
  |  Login  |  Contact Us  |  Careers  |  Terms & Conditions  |  
Copyright ©2014 Hadassah is a registered trademark of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America