Hadassah

Members of the Month

Hadassah recognizes the amazingly interesting, diverse and accomplished members of Hadassah. Each member brings a unique and powerful voice and perspective to our organizational tapestry.

We share a profound love for the Jewish people, and Israel. We share a commitment to women and believe in women’s strength—and our own. We are excited to showcase and honor these members—Women Who DO.

Member of the Month Honoree

Betty Samuels Seidel
Baltimore, MD

Career and Family
I am a 95+-year-old, proud member of Hadassah Greater Baltimore. Our families have long been devoted to the People and the Land of Israel. We have tried to inspire our three sons to share our deep concern for Hadassah and Am Yisrael. My late husband was a Peabody Conservatory graduate, musician, and piano teacher who served in the United States Navy. Together, we operated two music stores in Baltimore. My career has included teaching in high schools and colleges. Utilizing my Johns Hopkins University bachelor and master degrees in Education, I served 15 years in the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education, developing programs, providing support services, leading retirement education classes, and advocating when promoted to Public Information Officer. My Hebrew name is Batya (Daughter of God), which I take very seriously. I am a very active, involved member of my urban synagogue Beth Am, House of the People. Proudly I wear my multigenerational Hadassah Life Pin.

How did you get involved with Hadassah?
I have been associated with Hadassah since early childhood, when my mother, Anna Nechama Samuels, took me to a very special meeting at the home of Bertha Szold Levin to hear her sister, the founder of Hadassah, Henrietta Szold. Miss Henrietta, as they called her, spoke such inspirational words that they remain in my memory as though it were yesterday. I recounted this memorable experience “That Brief Encounter” in Hadassah’s Thin Threads book, published in 2012. I was exposed to many aspects of Hadassah when my mother served as President of our local Hadassah Chapter and of the Seaboard Region, as well as serving on the National Board and Speakers’ Bureau. Our home was ever filled with Junior Hadassah and Young Judaea members whom my mother advised, providing them, and also me, with a strong sense of Jewish identity. In 1956, my mother made me a Life Member of Hadassah. I treasure the card signed by National President Rebecca Shulman. Throughout the years, Hadassah has provided me the opportunity to learn and to serve as President of the Eutaw Place and of the B and P (Business and Professional) Groups of Hadassah, and as Chapter Vice-President of numerous projects such as fundraising, membership, education, program, and speakers’ bureau. Currently, I am Co-Chair of Senior Groups as well as Liaison to the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland, where I hold a Board position as Chair of SERV-A, supporting Jewish men and women in the United States Armed Services.

What is it about Hadassah that resonates with you?
Volunteering for Hadassah has provided me with opportunities for personal growth, for serving, for performing advocacy, and for making deep friendships with wonderful women of many ages. How fulfilling it is to participate in advancing medical science, healing, teaching and research for the benefit of all the people of Israel and the world! How gratifying it has been to participate in the initiation of our extraordinary Check It Out Program, educating teenagers about early detection of breast and testicular cancers! How amazing that my late husband and I fulfilled the dream of donating a Microbiology Pharmacy Laboratory in the Moshe Sharett Institute of Oncology at Kiryat Hadassah, Jerusalem! What a Blessing that many of my relatives are memorialized in the Chagall Synagogue, whose windows we had the good fortune to view at the Louvre in Paris before they were sent to Jerusalem! I will never ever forget that on one of my visits to Israel I enjoyed a stimulating week with American and Israeli women in a Hadassah study program at Neve Ilan, Jerusalem. On a nearby hill, which had been recently devastated by fire, I had the privilege of planting a JNF olive tree in the soil of Eretz Yisrael. Many decades in a lifetime have been filled with memories that will ever resonate, as I have tried to emulate Henrietta Szold’s advice: “Dare to dream … and when you dream, dream big!”

Share something you would like people to know about you
I am a Vintage Poet. I create my famous “Doggerel” for every possible occasion! I enjoy singing, and, somehow, my ancient mind retains the words and tunes of many “oldies” and “goodies.” Very stimulating are our monthly Book Club sessions. I credit Hadassah for helping me develop leadership skills and facility with speaking in public, which I have been teaching for many years at a local community college. My family has been very supportive, and I believe they are proud of my accomplishments and of this wonderful recognition. The Seidels were integrally involved in the purchasing, equipping, and converting the Old Bay Line steamship President Warfield into the Exodus: “The ship that launched a nation.” My late husband delivered supplies surreptitiously in the dark of night. He also drove Golda Meir when she was on tour in 1951 promoting the investment in Israel Bonds. My mother was the organizer and first Chair of the Maryland Bonds Women’s Division, and I am privileged to continue sitting on its Board. I have tried to follow in the footsteps of Henrietta Szold. Her dreams have become my dreams, and Hadassah has provided the opportunity to fulfill them.



Members of the Month

The denotes the May 2017 Member Appreciation Month Honorees.


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Betty Samuels Seidel

Baltimore, MD
"My mother took me to a very special meeting at the home of Bertha Szold Levin to hear her sister, the founder of Hadassah, Henrietta Szold."
Find out more about Betty Samuels Seidel›

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Shelly Cohen

Denver, CO
"Hadassah has taught me to be a stronger advocate for Israel, Zionism and Jewish values."
Find out more about Shelly Cohen›

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Paula M. Schiff

Walnut Creek, CA
"Along with my wonderful Hadassah members, I have presented three Israel advocacy programs."
Find out more about Paula M. Schiff ›

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Lori Reszutek

Fairfield, CT
"I love being part of a group where I feel a true kinship to the other members."
Find out more about Lori Reszutek›

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Ruth Fein

Merrick, NY
"I chose Hadassah because its main focus is Israel."
Find out more about Ruth Fein›

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Carol Konecky

Oceanside, NY
"I enjoy being surrounded by bright, creative and talented women who share my passion."
Find out more about Carol Konecky›

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Leslie Gonzalez

Newton, MA
“I love that Hadassah is this amazing organization for Israel, about Israel, in Israel.”
Find out more about Leslie Gonzalez›

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Hannah Cohen

Escondido, CA
“I grew up witnessing my mother’s deep commitment to Hadassah.”
Find out more about Hannah Cohen›

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Randi Cohen

Arlington, VA
“I owe much to Hadassah, including meeting my husband.”
Find out more about Randi Cohen›

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Helene Schilian

Wellington, FL
“Hadassah supports everything I feel strongly about.”
Find out more about Helene Schilian›

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Elise Feldscher

Calabasas, CA
“For over 30 years, Hadassah has been the constant in my life.”
Find out more about Elise Feldscher›

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Gayle Dorio

Naples, FL
“A licensed interior designer who is honored to be a part of Hadassah.”
Find out more about Gayle Dorio›

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Randi Lampert

Las Vegas, NV
“Board certified pediatrician passionate about Hadassah.”
Find out more about Randi Lampert›

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Erin Coleman

Nashville, TN
“A prior service military engineer officer inspired by Hadassah.”
Find out more about Erin Coleman›

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Barbara Bronstein

Houston, TX
“Hadassah strikes me as an oasis of peace in an otherwise turbulent Middle East.”
Find out more about Barbara Bronstein›

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Holly Seltzer

Washington D.C.
"Holly has spent most of her career doing communications and PR for nonprofit groups."
Find out more about Holly Seltzer›

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Dylan Dorenfeld

Agoura Hills, CA
"She has dedicated the next two years of her life helping to ensure Israel’s safety and security."
Find out more about Dylan Dorenfeld›

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Katie Perez

Littleton, CO
"Katie hopes one day to help her daughter become a Young Woman of Hadassah."
Find out more about Katie Perez›

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Debra Flaherty

Bronx, NY
"She founded an outpatient substance abuse treatment center."
Find out more about Debra Flaherty›

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Debra Sharker

Atlanta, GA
"She is a “thriving survivor” who is passionate about giving back in the cancer war."
Find out more about Debra Sharker›

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Martha Jo Katz

Atlanta, GA
"For 18 years she worked a model."
Find out more about Martha Jo Katz›

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Sarrah Bechor

Queens, NY
"Sarrah works with a technology start-up company, building global strategic partnerships."
Find out more about Sarrah Bechor›

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Melissa Liverman

Detroit, MI
"Melissa founded the “Leorah” chapter."
Find out more about Melissa Liverman›

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Barbara Ross-Innamorati

Westport, CT
"She is the founder and designer of an award-winning artisan jewelry company."
Find out more about Barbara Ross-Innamorati›

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Stephanie Weitzman

Newton, MA
"Her grandmother made her a life member at birth."
Find out more about Stephanie Weitzman›

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Lori Good

San Diego, CA
“From the beginning, I have been impressed that Hadassah is almost completely volunteer driven.”
Find out more about Lori Good›

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Barbara Aqua

Tacoma, WA
"I have died, almost died three times, and I know what a gift life is."
Find out more about Barbara Aqua›

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Maxine, Rochelle and Alana Schube

Atlanta, GA
"Our goal in coming forward with our story is to show that breast cancer doesn’t care how old you are."
Find out more about Maxine, Rochelle and Alana Schube›

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Keeley Kossof

Vernon Hills, IL
"After losing her vision, Keeley developed a line of hair fragrances."
Find out more about Keeley Kossof›

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Stacey Dorenfeld

Los Angeles, CA
"She gives much of her energy to repairing the world."
Find out more about Stacey Dorenfeld›

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Robin Fischel

Stamford, CT
"She finds it incredibly important to give back to the community she was raised in."
Find out more about Robin Fischel›

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Amy Degen

Groton, MA
"I love that Hadassah helps me feel connected to the State of Israel."
Find out more about Amy Degen›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

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