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History of Lansing Hadassah submitted by Shirleyetta Sernick
The second-oldest Jewish women's groups in Lansing is the local chapter of Hadassah, founded in 1939. Mrs. Louis Schetzer was elected first president, and there were 10 charter members. Hadassah, a national organization founded in New York in 1912, is essentially a Zionist group. Its name is something of a summary of its work: Hadassah is another name of the Biblical Queen Esther, and means, literally, "hand of healing." The organization strives to heal anti-Semitic feeling throughout the world, and has many philanthropic activities, the largest one being a medical organization for training and research in Israel. This program, combined with the Community Health Service project, supports seven hospitals in Israel, a nurses' training program, a medical school, a dental clinic and an extensive research program in sanitation and hygiene in the middle east. The American Affairs program is the biggest activity of individual Hadassah groups in this country.