Hadassah Calls on Global Leaders to Demand Hamas Immediately Release All Hostages

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Media Contact:
Lilly Freemyer

NEW YORK, NY — Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow and CEO Naomi Adler issued this statement following a meeting today of Jewish community leaders and members of Congress and the Administration:

“Hadassah is appalled by the shocking videos documenting Hamas’ brutal abuse of the hostages it took from Israel in violation of international law and human decency, including women, children and elderly and disabled people. We urgently call on leaders in the United States and around the globe to demand, in unequivocal terms, that Hamas immediately release all of the nearly 200 hostages.

“At the same time, we urge leaders to call on Hamas to stop using innocent Palestinian civilians as human shields and to stop blocking and stealing humanitarian aid meant to help Palestinian civilians.  

“Hadassah stands with Israel and implores leaders in the US, around the world and at the United Nations to condemn the terrorist attacks by Hamas targeting civilians, to provide Israel with the support it needs to defend itself from terrorism and to work together to heal the devastation in the region.

“Hadassah is working around the clock to support the Hadassah Medical Organization, its medical center in Jerusalem, which is treating some of the most seriously wounded patients. As we continue our efforts, we are sensitive to the critical need for additional emergency equipment and supplies – a need that will only grow in the coming weeks as more and more casualties arrive with complex injuries.”

“Since it was founded in 1912, Hadassah has stood side by side with Israel through tumultuous times, including the War of Independence, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Hadassah has also responded with Israel to world events that have led to human suffering on a large scale, including the war in Ukraine and the devastating earthquake in Turkey earlier this year.”

For live updates about Hadassah’s war response efforts, please visit https://www.hadassah.org/healisraelnow.


Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, Associates and supporters, HWZOA brings women together to effect change and advocate on such critical issues as ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health. Through the two hospitals of the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support both exemplary care for more than one million people every year and world-renowned medical research. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for building bridges to peace through medicine. Additionally, HWZOA supports several Youth Aliyah villages that set at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.