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Henrietta Szold founded Hadassah in 1912, but it was in Rochester, NY that the name Hadassah was officially adopted. Hadassah's first National Convention in 1914 also took place in Rochester. Although there were only 10 Chapters, only 8 of them sent delegates to this first convention. Attendance was so small that the delegates were taken into the home of Henrietta's friend, Tillie Rose. Hadassah has grown to become the largest women's volunteer organization in the United States with over 300,000 members nationally.
Our Rochester Chapter, started in 1914 by Tillie Rose, has over 850 members. This includes 635 Life members plus over 105 Associates. The memory of Tillie Rose, our first Chapter President (1914-1919), is honored every spring with a special education program that is open to the entire Chapter and our community.
The Groups in our Chapter have changed with the times. Initially, our groups reflected age groups or interest groups - Degania, Shalom, Kadimah, Hatikvah, Hans Bayth, and others. Most of our members have now chosen to be Members at Large, with no group affiliation.
Modi'in (MOD), our newest and youngest group, began in 2005 and now has 74 members. These young women, aged 20ish - 40ish, are single, married, mothers, and/or professionals. They run their own Modi'in board meetings, plan their own events, and write their own e-newsletter. They participate in the Chapter and At Large members are invited to their programs. MOD Board members participate on the Chapter Board level, as well.
Bat Ami/Margalit is our most senior and experienced group. They also have their own Board meetings and an afternoon Book Group. They plan events that include members from their group as well at the Chapter at Large, and participate in the Chapter's fundraising and membership initiatives. Several BA/M Board members participate on the Chapter Board level.
The Rochester Chapter is a strong and vibrant organization with women who participate, lead, and share their passion for all that Hadassah does in Israel and the United States.