Hadassah Hosts "The Power of Purpose," its First Women's Empowerment Conference

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Media Contact:
Alix Friedman

National event brings together women doing groundbreaking work in civic engagement, women’s health, pro-Israel activism and other arenas

NEW YORK, NY (December 9, 2021) – On Sunday, January 9, from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm EST, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), will host “The Power of Purpose,” a national conference and the organization’s first to celebrate women’s empowerment. The event, to take place on Zoom, will bring together a diverse group of widely recognized and accomplished women who are changing the status quo in arenas ranging from civil rights and civic engagement to women’s health and women’s empowerment, from pro-Israel activism and the fight against antisemitism to entrepreneurship and venture capital investing. A highlight of the event will be an interview with Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of NBC’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

The conference speakers will include Amy Spitalnick, founder of the civil rights group Integrity First for America, which recently won its groundbreaking federal lawsuit against the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and hate groups responsible for the Charlottesville violence; Noa Tishby, founder of Act for Israel, Israel’s first online advocacy organization, and the author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth; Tamar Manasseh, founder of the anti-violence organization MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killing); Erin Zaikis, founder of RISE by Sundara, which empowers female entrepreneurs working in water, sanitation and hygiene; Mandana Dayani, co-founder of I am a voter®, which raises awareness of the importance of civic engagement; Marcy Syms, founding advisor, The ERA Project, Columbia Law School, and President, Sy Syms Foundation; and Joy Bauer, the TODAY show’s nutrition and healthy-lifestyle expert.

The conference chair is Janice Weinman, former CEO and Executive Director of Hadassah. The co-chairs are Michelle Conwisar, Hadassah’s Southern California Region President, and Deborah Wiskind, a member of Hadassah’s National Board and Co-Chair of Leadership Training and Development.

Said Rhoda Smolow, Hadassah President, “We are extremely excited to host our first ‘Power of Purpose’ conference. As one of the country’s leading women’s organizations, Hadassah is honored to welcome such an impressive and diverse group of accomplished women. I have no doubt all those who join us for this event will leave feeling invigorated and inspired to make the world a better place, through their affiliation with Hadassah and otherwise.”

During panels on advocacy, women’s health, women’s empowerment and Israel, the speakers will describe how they came to define their purpose and find their voice and how they handled the challenges encountered along the way. The panels, listed below, will give conference participants a chance to delve into issues they are passionate about and walk away with ideas about how they can take action and make a difference in the world.

  • WOMEN’S HEALTH: How to Raise the Visibility of Women’s Health and Women’s Health Equity Issues – Erin Zaikis, founder of RISE by Sundara, which empowers female entrepreneurs working in water, sanitation and hygiene; Dr. Asnat Walfisch, director of the High-Risk Pregnancy Unit at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem; Joy Bauer, the TODAY show’s nutrition and healthy-lifestyle expert; and other panelists to be announced.

Members of the media who wish to attend all or part of the conference should contact Alix Friedman, afriedman@hadassah.org. Hi-res photography of speakers is available. Members of the public who wish to register for the conference can do so at hadassah.org/powerofpurpose.


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 Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support exemplary patient care for over a million people every year and HMO’s 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.” 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.