Government representatives, Hadassah leaders, and friends and partners from the Washington area came together to celebrate the opening of Hadassah’s new Government Relations Office in Washington, DC.
"Advocacy and political activism have always been core components of the work we do at Hadassah," said Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin, “There has always been a need and a reason for Hadassah to have a voice in Washington, DC.
This new Government Relations Office will give Hadassah a physical base from which to educate, activate and mobilize our membership, serving as a hub to harness grassroots engagement and maximize advocacy impact. At the same time, it will position us to deepen our critical relationships on Capitol Hill and with the White House, and lead Hadassah’s legislative and grassroots mobilization strategies, including working side-by-side with congressional offices in support of key policies.
Hadassah ED/CEO Dr. Janice Weinman and Karen Paikin Barall—Hadassah's new Director of Government Relations—shared a heartfelt thank you to all who attended the grand opening on December 6.
“Women are pursuing an active leadership role in the affairs of this great nation and making their voices heard. Karen’s wide range of experience as a public servant and her relationships and reputation in DC will be an invaluable asset to Hadassah’s mission – insuring that our members are at the forefront of this energizing movement at a historic moment in our nation’s history,” said Weinman.
Ken Marcus, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, and the FDA's Marsha Henderson, Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health, were among those representing government agencies. . Organizational partners and allies included Lori Weinstein, CEO of Jewish Women International; David Weinberg of the ADL; Richard Heideman, president of the American Zionist Movement; Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), and Julia Knox of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health.
Early in her career, Barall supervised Hadassah’s Young Judaea/Israel Summer Youth Programs, she returns to Hadassah having served as Mid-Atlantic Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy; Director of Maryland Government and Community Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, Foreign Affairs Officer in the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and Special Assistant to New York Governor George Pataki.
“I am proud to be representing Hadassah as we make the case for Israel, fight increasing anti-Semitism around the world, and promote women's health equity at home,” said Barall. “I know that our success will bring in a new generation of Hadassah members who share our values and vision and are energized to support an organization reshaping the future of Zionist and women’s health advocacy.”
“Our strength comes from the passion of our members, who are motivated by their love for Israel and know first-hand how investments in medical research and care save countless lives. By educating policymakers on both sides of the aisle about the work of the Hadassah Medical Organization and Hadassah’s policy priorities, the DC office will magnify our voice in Congress, as well as with federal agencies and partner organizations.”
“I am thrilled to be back working with incredible passionate people that really live up to Hadassah’s slogan: the power of women who do!” said Barall.