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HISTORY OF SOUTHERN REGION
The Southern Region of Hadassah’s beginning is twofold. The Southern Region as we know it today (the states we represent) was reorganized and began in February of 1938. This is the date we use as our beginning. However, the first Southern Region was formed November 29, 1926 and consisted of 13 chapters in five states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Louisiana. With the growth of so many chapters during the next 12 years, the need to reorganize was apparent. The first conference of the reorganized Southern Region was held in Birmingham, AL in February 1938. Our Region and groups now consists of chapters in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, parts of Louisiana, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida.
The first president in 1938, we think, was Selma Marcus from Montgomery, AL. However, reports also show she was president in 1935 under the old Southern Region. History records also show that Jennie Winer from Chattanooga was the first Southern Region president in 1926. (Attached is the list of Southern Region presidents beginning with the reorganization.)
At one time the Southern Region had almost 7,000 members. Our numbers have dwindled due in part to chapters in smaller southern communities closing. However, in recent years we have seen the formation of new chapters and groups in our Region. Our Region Board is constantly evaluating our organizational structure so that we can provide the best possible service to our chapters.
The history of the Southern Region has been compiled by past Southern Region President, Freda Brode, with some of the information obtained from the National Hadassah archives. Many of the older Southern Region scrapbooks are in her possession. If anyone has additional information about the early history in the 30’s and 40’s they would like to share, contact Freda at 1-800-801-5587.
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While we come from a wide spectrum of Jewish observance, Hadassah abides
SOUTHERN REGION PRESIDENTS