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Message from the President

This March my husband, Len, and I were in Israel. While there, we visited the Hadassah School of Nursing at the Hadassah Medical Center (HMO). What a lovely surprise to see the halls teeming with nursing students in the hallways and classrooms at the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. We met incredibly talented current and past faculty of the school. We were impressed by the history and plans for the future of the nursing program.

Which of us does not remember the story that our Hadassah founder, Henrietta Szold, sent a nursing delegation to Israel as part of the American Zionist Medical Unit, the precursor of today’s HMO. The first two nurses arrived in 1913, followed by a full-scale medical team. The organization set up well-baby clinics and infirmaries and later, hospitals all over Israel.

In 1918 Hadassah’s leadership opened the Hadassah School of Nursing, the first such program in the region and designed to replicate the highest level of nursing schools in the United States. The mission was to develop academic professional education for nurses, which has been the focus of nursing leaders since the 1920’s. Active pursuit of the approval of generic baccalaureate programs (BSN) began in the 1950’s and was presented to the Hebrew University and the Ministry of Health in the 1960’s. In 1975, under the leadership of the Director of the Hadassah school of Nursing Judith Steiner-Freud, the first BSN program opened in the country. Len and I met Dr Steiner-Freud who is well into her 90’s and still comes to the nursing school most days. Her eyes twinkle with intelligence and excitement over what she sees happening at the school.

The nursing master’s program began in 2001 to fulfill a clinical need for advanced practice nurses in Israel. Much of the program is based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing program. Today the Hadassah program includes tracks in Geriatrics/Gerontology, Oncology, and the Complicated Adult Patient/Critical Care.

Nurse educators comprise the school’s teaching staff. The three educators we met were Miri Rom, RN, Ph.D., Director and Associate Dean of Nursing; Prof. Freda DeKeyser Ganz, RN, PhD, Coordinator, Research and Development; and Anna Woloski-Wruble, RN, BA, BSN, MEd, EdD. Each of these women is responsible for a significant part of the School of Nursing research and academic program.

These three women are dynamic, forward-thinking and, most of all, totally dedicated to HMO, with which they’ve been affiliated for decades. Dr Rom, in particular, is a second-generation Hadassah nurse. Her mother preceded her in the role. Drs. Dekeyser Ganz and Woloski-Wruble are American women who made Aliyah and built their careers at Hadassah. Each of them earned their PhD at distinguished universities: University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland and Columbia University, with post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins University.

So, what did Len and I learn? We learned that in order to maintain this unique Master’s degree program, the School of Nursing needs donations of approximately $500,000 per year. With Central Pacific Coast Region’s recent re-institution of the Nurses Councils, I’m suggesting that some efforts be made to help this program survive and thrive.

For information about how your chapter or your chapter’s nurse’s council can help, please contact me: Jane.J.Jacobson@Hadassah.org.

Jane Jacobson
President, Central Pacific Coast Region Hadassah


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