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PLEASE NOTE:   Election of officers will  be held in the Fall of the calendar year. 


Florida Atlantic Region of Hadassah

The B’Yachad Leadership Team

Summer, 2014 

Hello Chapter Presidents and Executive Board Members.    

Good Hadassah leaders are good listeners.  However, listening is a leadership skill that we can always improve on.    

 The following is an excerpt from a 7/23/14 Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger


“Tuning In: Improving Your Listening Skills: How to Get the Most Out of a Conversation”   

You can find the entire article at the link below.



 Meryl Strutin

Leadership Team Chair

How To Be a Better Listener


• Clear your mind of distractions by doing  a brain dump, making notes or task lists you can easily pick up again later.

• Make a list of questions or topics you want to cover,  to prevent brain freeze.

• Plan in advance to limit the time you spend talking to 20% or 25% of the conversation.

• Drop any assumption that you already know what the other person will say.

• Put down, ignore or turn off phones, other mobile devices and computers.


• Take notes to stay focused while listening.

• Paraphrase what you think the speaker said and ask if you're on target.

• Ask clarifying questions to sharpen the focus of the conversation.

• Notice the speaker's body language and facial expressions as potential sources of meaning.

• Use pauses to reflect or draw out more information. 



The article below is taken from the 02/24/14 article in The Build Network.  It is about “Abraham Lincoln’s Brilliant Method for Handling Setbacks.”  There are some good leadership lessons about patience: 

Abraham Lincoln teaches us about keeping a reasonable  temperament during hard times.  Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, asked “What was the secret of Abraham Lincoln’s success in dealing with people?”  Carnegie was in a unique position to know the answer. Four years before How to Win Friends came out, he authored a book called Lincoln the Unknown.

Lincoln practiced patience.  Carnegie, America’s preeminent expert on networking, arguably the person who first codified networking as a skill, analyzed Lincoln’s life for his people skills.  As an example, Carnegie cites a letter Lincoln wrote to a general who disobeyed his orders during the Civil War.  Clearly, the letter was a stern rebuke. But the lesson Carnegie offers is a simple one. The lesson is that Lincoln never sent the letter.  It was found among his papers after his death.

The Art of Empathy - Carnegie’s speculation about why Lincoln never sent the letter is fascinating and, more importantly, plausible. His best guess is that Lincoln’s thought process went something like this:

    “Maybe I ought not to be so hasty. It is easy enough for me to sit here in the quiet of the White House and order Meade to attack; but if I had been up at Gettysburg, and if I had seen as much blood as Meade has seen during the last week, and if my ears had been pierced with the screams and shrieks of the wounded and dying, maybe I wouldn’t be so anxious to attack either. If I had Meade’s timid temperament, perhaps I would have done just what he had done. Anyhow, it is water under the bridge now. If I send this letter, it will relieve my feelings, but it will make Meade try to justify himself. It will make him condemn me. It will arouse hard feelings, impair all his further usefulness as a commander, and perhaps force him to resign from the army.”

There are three takeaways you can glean from this informed sketch of Lincoln’s thought process:

1. When delivering feedback, think about how it will affect both the recipient and your overall goal. If the ultimate aim of any feedback is to improve employee performance — and therefore, the organization’s performance — than you need to consider whether the timing and the wording of the feedback will accomplish those goals. In Carnegie’s view, Lincoln believed that his feedback to Meade would both “impair” the general’s performance and damage the army’s performance. Therefore, the feedback was not worth delivering to Meade at this juncture.

2. Before you criticize an employee, put yourself in his shoes. Hindsight is 20-20, the cliché goes. Second guessing is always easy. Wrong as Meade was, in Lincoln’s view, Lincoln was aware enough to realize that bullets were flying around Meade — so perhaps he could be forgiven or, at least,  understood, if he wasn’t in his right mind on the battlefield. Pressure creates mistakes. If you’ve got feedback for your employees, consider first the pressures they are under to make the decisions they make.

3. If you’re angry about an outcome, give yourself an outlet for venting. Just because Lincoln didn’t send the letter doesn’t mean writing the letter didn’t help. The notion that writing down your frustrations can help you vent is well known. The trick is actually doing it in practice. At the very least, that’s what Lincoln accomplished here.

And remember this, too: If you’re upset at an employee, on some level you’re the one to blame. After all, it’s your organization — and perhaps even you, directly — who hired him. This was certainly the case with Lincoln and Meade. If Lincoln didn’t want Meade to make big decisions, Lincoln should’ve relied on another general.

Finally, the last thing you want is an employee who is too scared to act, for fear that you will criticize their actions. You’ll end up with an employee who bugs you about every little detail, to prevent your critiques from coming later.

It doesn’t mean you should eliminate feedback from your employee-evaluation process. It just means you need to consider how — and when — you do it.

 Meryl Strutin, Leadership Team Chair


 The following is an excerpt from “Developing Volunteers for Organizational Success,” p. 47.


Leadership is the art of getting people together effectively for a common goal. Leadership requires charisma, a vision, an innovative and creative mind, and skilled communication.

 As Henrietta Szold brilliantly forged Hadassah into a successful fundraising and social welfare organization, she also helped to create an organization that called upon the talent and skill of tens of thousands of women. Combining flexibility and risk-taking with steely determination, she integrated the needs of members with the goals of the organization, thus providing a role model for Hadassah leadership.

 Leaders transform potential into reality. When selecting individuals to take on positions of leadership, remember that people skills are as important as task skills or expertise in a specific area.

 Effective leaders model individual behaviors that nurture and encourage others.


  • Look at the needs and strengths of individuals. “Build from Strength.” (Drucker)
  •  Give people every opportunity to develop and utilize their talents and strengths.
  • Provide a “climate” in which members are allowed to grow and accomplish the things of which they are capable.
  •  Provide every opportunity for members to identify their interests and abilities. When they know more about themselves they are better able to share this with the leader.
  • Accept a refusal. Forcing members into tasks for which they have no enthusiasm will lead to frustration and disappointment for all. 
  • Avoid duplication of effort-to the extent that the individuals begin to feel they really aren’t needed. 
  • Specify clearly your expectations of members and listen to their expectations of you and others.

 The B’Yachad Leadership Team (LT) and the Florida Atlantic Region is here to serve your chapter’s Executive Board.  B’Yachad means “Together.”  Together, we will help your chapter be successful.

We are available to meet with your chapter’s Executive Board to help it work as efficiently as possible.

 We are available to help chapter Executive Boards on an appointment basis. If you need us, please contact the region office, and the Leadership Team will arrange for you to come to the office or we will come to you. We can help you with board briefings, delegation, conflict resolution, how to cultivate new leadership and much more. Call us if you need us!


October-November, 2014  - Nominating committee meets to complete the slate

November-December, 2014 – Elections take place at the general meeting.

December, 2014 or January, 2015 – Installation of new Officers. 

Officers will be elected for a Jan.1-Dec. 31 term. 

 The following women are members of the Leadership Team. (In alphabetical order): Joan Baron (FAR President), Marion Aronheim, Janice Davidson, Adele Freitag, June Goldman, Lydia Krieg, Linda Rosenthal, Marge Rosin, Iris Rothstein, Fran Sachs. Carol Weiss, and Meryl Strutin - Chair.

The following is an excerpt from “Developing Volunteers for Organizational Success p 52-53:

DELEGATING -  It has been said that delegating is the hallmark of a successful leader. It is a method of getting work done with each member doing her part. Through delegating, a part of the responsibility is assigned to others who will help to find solutions. By doing this, we also save time and develop leadership for the future. 
Consideration before delegation
·         Is the individual capable of handling the task?
·         Will the individual take the responsibility seriously and feel a commitment to it?
·         How critical is it to the total operation that this task be done well?

Criteria for delegation
·         The ability of the individual to handle the task
·         The importance of the task.
·         The consequence of failure.
·         The relationship to those involved.

Advantages of delegating
·         Develops a sense of belonging and importance in the members involved.
·         Encourages creativity, initiative and independence.
·         Inspires motivation-stimulates.
·         Shares the power.
·         Offers an opportunity for growth and development and for others to observe
                         this change.
·         Allows the leader freedom to oversee the total operation

 Responsibilities of a leader
·         To assign tasks only to those qualified.
·         To make the assignment clear.
·         To assign authority to discharge the tasks.
·         To obtain the member’s commitment to the task.
·         To provide needed resources to accomplish the task.
·         To offer encouragement and support.




B ’ Y A C H A D  L E A D E R S H I P   T E A M    G O A L S 

  • "Be the Best You Can Be” - How to Function as a Board so your chapter will be successful
  • The importance of creating NEW LEADERS
  • Job descriptions of chapter board members and their function within Hadassah
  • How to instill PASSION in chapter and board members and convey that Hadassah is a special organization with an important mission.  How to sell Hadassah and build membership
  • Conflict resolution
  • Team building
  • Transfer of information from workshop attendees to their respective boards and membership
  • Teach Tikun Olam through Hadassah advocacy
  • How to deal with difficult people
  • Education about Hadassah projects
  • Introduce chapter executive boards to all of the FAR Hadassah resources including office staff and region executive board members




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