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The Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine has been designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Capacity Building in Public Health. The Center will serve as a think tank on public health for the 52 countries in the WHO European Region. The goal will be to decide priorities in public health policy and to plan public health initiatives, as well as supervise standards for training public health workers.

Prof. Elliot Berry, Director of the Braun School’s Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism, and past Braun School Director, will serve as head of the Center. The Collaborating Center will be within the Braun School, currently directed by Prof. Shmuel Shapira, who is also Deputy Director General of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

Prof. Berry, along with Prof. Ted Tulchinsky of the Braun School faculty, worked on achieving this Center status for three years. During this time, they hosted a workshop on “Capacity Building” in Jerusalem. The outgrowth of that workshop was a statement paper for the World Health Organization. Among the topics the Center will examine are nutrition and food fortification, counteracting obesity, neonatal nutrition, health promotion, violence prevention, and community mental health.

This prestigious honor bestowed by the WHO is effective for four years. Hadassah is then eligible for redesignation.


Tel Aviv University Professor Seeks Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment

(New York, NY -- February 08, 2007) -- As reports of sexual harassment charges at the highest levels dominate the news from Jerusalem, the good news is that these events are paradoxically “a sign of the strength of Israeli legal institutions,” as pertains to the status of women in Israel, according to Dr. Neta Ziv, Tel Aviv University Professor and the director of a legal clinic supported by the Hadassah Foundation.

The bad news is, according to Ziv, that women on the periphery are still not legally or economically empowered.

Ziv was in New York this week addressing issues of economic justice and gender equality in Israel at an event sponsored by the Hadassah Foundation and Tel Aviv University: American Council. She explained that while the cases of harassment are themselves harsh, their outcomes—public investigation and conviction of the high-profile offenders—show that the courts have “understood human reaction through the eyes of a woman, not a man.”

She cautioned, however, that this progressive outlook by the courts does not mean that women have reached a general state of equality in Israel. For the whole picture, it is necessary to “broaden our scope and look at women at the periphery,” she said, where women are still struggling.

“It is important to focus not on the sexy case of the female pilot in the air force, but the nitty gritty cases of women on welfare” she said, adding that these women face a complicated web of social policies.

Under the current Israeli system, modeled on the American welfare-to-work program, women who seek welfare benefits must take whatever job the government offers—sometimes forcing them to travel long distances to work long hours, leaving young children at home—or risk losing their benefits altogether.

Recognizing that “the workforce itself is not a solution to poverty,” Ziv’s clinic at Tel Aviv University School of Law allows her to address these issues in other ways by helping low-income women establish microenterprise businesses – small, home-based businesses that allow them to work toward economic independence on their own terms. The clinic provides these women with legal advice and assistance on a variety of matters, as well as empowerment training to help them adjust to running their own businesses.

In addition to the TAU clinic, The Hadassah Foundation supports 18 other projects in Israel that help women gain economic security through the establishment of microenterprise and cooperative businesses, financial training courses, and legal aid.


Our Hadassah International President Marlene Post was honored in January with the dedication of the Marlene E. Post Athletic Center at the Hadassah Neurim Youth Village in Israel. The official inauguration took place during the Hadassah America National Board Mission to Israel.

Hadassah Neurim, a project of Hadassah America, is a residential school mainly serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. At Neurim, thanks to Hadassah, a number of talented students are training to become Olympic athletes.

Among the Athletic Center’s features are a brand new athletic stadium and running track. During the ceremonies, Marlene, also a former National President of Hadassah America, donned a pair of sneakers and sprinted down the track with a student athlete!

It is traditional in Hadassah to honor former National Presidents by having them choose a project that will bear their name. This choice spoke loudly to Marlene, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of disabled athletes for many years.

As she noted in her speech at the dedication: “In sports you think differently, you approach life differently, you psych yourself up to move forward, to become a winner. It is a wonderful way to build up one’s physical and mental abilities.” Marlene added that she hopes the student athletes will take what they learn about themselves on the playing field out into the world.



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