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Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America

HADASSAH, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold of Baltimore. Since its inception, Hadassah has remained unwavering in its devotion to perpetuating Jewish continuity, Zionism, and American ideals. As the largest volunteer organization and the largest women's organization in America, Hadassah is committed to strengthening the unity of the Jewish people. Hadassah provides every Jewish woman with the opportunity to connect with Israel and the survival of the Jewish people.


Providing world-class medical care since its founding in 1912, Hadassah has grown to include the Hadassah Medical Organization which is comprised of two outstanding hospitals that treat nearly a million patients annually, community health clinics, and five academic medical schools. Without discrimination and regardless of nationality, religion or race, Hadassah treats all patients with the highest standards of care and compassion. HMO is known worldwide for its medical research in such fields as breast cancer, genetic disorders, gene therapy and stem cell research. 

Training for the future, Hadassah is helping to ensure the future of Israel’s economy by providing advanced technical training in such fields as computer science, optometry, culinary arts and video production. The state-of-the-art Hadassah College Jerusalem keeps Israel on the cutting edge of the technological revolution, preparing citizens and new immigrants, and those less advantaged to enter the work force.

Rescuing youth since the 1930’s when Henrietta Szold stood on the gangplank welcoming children from Germany to Palestine, Hadassah has always provided programs to help young people. Today, Hadassah is a proud sponsor of Youth Aliyah residential villages and facilities for disadvantaged Israeli youth and young immigrants, and offers counseling and a haven for at-risk youth and families in need.

Reclaiming the land, as the largest partner with the Jewish National Fund, Hadassah is working to develop barren land, re-plant forests, build reservoirs and support the clean-up of polluted waterways. After 10,000 acres of hand-planted forest were destroyed by Katyusha rockets in the summer of 2006, Operation Northern Renewal was launched to help replant and replace the trees. Hadassah also purchased a new fire truck to help Israel fight future disasters.

Ensuring Jewish continuity by engaging young people aged 8 to 35 in Young Judaea. At Young Judaea’s camps, leadership activities and clubs American teenagers develop a life-long commitment to Israel and Judaism.  Young Judaea offers numerous Israel travel and study programs including Year Course - a the gap-year study program between high school and college; and provides free,10-day trips to Israel through birthright israel for qualified young people.


Emergency relief is provided by Hadassah trained teams, offering disaster services in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Turkey, Nigeria and other countries in need. With the most sophisticated trauma units in the world, from Bali to Kenya to Georgia, Hadassah medical staff has been called to provide life-saving assistance to victims of terror.

Public health and community medicine training are provided to students from around the world to improve the health conditions in their own countries.  

As a recently accredited non-governmental observer (NGO) organization to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), Hadassah is recognized as one of the leading humanitarian organizations working to solve medical problems globally, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts. 
Hadassah participates at the United Nations in such areas as youth, women, health, sustainable development, and aging. Our representatives sit on many NGO committees such as the World Conference on Racism, the Convention to End Discrimination against Women, the Committee on Human Rights, and the Committee on UNICEF. Our presence at the UN helps in the fight to combat rising anti-Semitism.


Hadassah serves as a national voice for women and family health. Major advocacy activities include efforts to prevent genetic discrimination and violence against women; legislation to protect First Amendment rights, including the freedom of religion, the separation of church and state, and reproductive choice. Hadassah members travel to Washington, DC to advocate on behalf of issues of concern to American Jewish women and Israel. While participating in “Day on the Hill” activities, Hadassah members meet with their Congressional representatives, and visit and are briefed at the Israeli Embassy, the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Justice, AIPAC, and various women’s organizations. Action alerts from Hadassah’s Washington Office, inform members of breaking political matters.

Hadassah volunteers also meet with local elected officials to discuss current legislative initiatives and inform them about Hadassah and the issues important to us. In addition, while not endorsing individual candidates or political parties, Hadassah provides candidate forums and promotes voter registration to ensure that our voices are heard and our rights and responsibilities as Americans are preserved.

Hadassah of Greater Baltimore offers a diverse array of local programming providing many opportunities for involvement and enrichment. Click here for more information about the Baltimore Chapter.

GET CONNECTED! Learn more about how you can be part of this exciting group of area women. Contact Hadassah of Greater Baltimore, 3723 Old Court Road, Suite 205, Baltimore, Maryland 21208, 410-484-9590, online at www.baltimore.hadassah.org or email us at baltimore.chapter@hadassah.org.


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