Hadassah Installs Rhoda Smolow as 27th National President and Three National Officers at Orlando Meeting

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Contact: Renee Young
Hadassah National Public Relations

March 25, 2020 – NEW YORK, NY - Rhoda Smolow was installed as the 27th National President  of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), at the organization’s Midwinter meetings in Orlando, FL.  Hadassah is the nation’s largest Zionist women’s organization, with over 300,000 members and associates in every congressional district in the country.

Additionally, Janet Hand Deixler, of Schenectady, NY, Marcia Gabrilove Ladin, of Rochester, NY, and Rachel Schonberger of Atlanta, GA, were installed as National Vice Presidents. Carol Ann Schwartz of Cincinnati, OH, was installed as National Secretary. Hadassah Past President Marcie Natan officiated at the installation ceremony.  

Smolow comments, “Like the nation of Israel which Hadassah helped to create, the women of Hadassah strive to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Hadassah plays and continues to play a central role in the building of Israel. Every generation faces unique challenges. At a time when the world needs Hadassah more than ever before, we need to face these challenges in the same way as generations of Hadassah women did before us, with pride, passion and purpose. At Hadassah, we are all part of a family – a family of women who share certain values – human values, Jewish values and personal values. These values have become our legacy. We have been blessed with this shared legacy and we will work together to make sure it will be passed on.”

Rhoda Smolow, from Great Neck, NY, was most recently Hadassah National Secretary, an elected member of the National Board, a member of the Compliance Committee, and a Past National Vice President. Smolow also had a seat on the Management Committee, served in the Member and Unit Services Division as the National Organization Department Chair, and was National Presidential Development Co-chair. She was also a member of the National Strategic Planning Committee, the National Implementation Team, the Co-Chair of the Blue Print Geographic Training Program, Co-Team Manager of the One Calendar Program, the Centennial Convention Flash Mob Chair and a Hadassah Representative to the American Zionist Movement (AZM). Smolow is a Past President of the Hadassah Nassau Region. She also served on the Nassau Region Board as Executive Vice President, Membership Coordinator, Leadership Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator and Area Vice President. 

Smolow enthuses about the new Hadassah board members: “Since its founding over 100 years ago, the strength of HWZOA comes from the passion, dedication and commitment of a talented core of volunteers such as Janet Hand Deixler, Marcia Gabrilove Ladin, Rachel Schonberger and Carol Ann Schwartz. Each of these newly-elected national officers have been of exemplary service to Hadassah over many decades and bring us an extraordinary array of leadership skills and administrative talents. Hadassah is truly blessed to have their support and dedication to our mission of empowering women and supporting the land and people of Israel.”

Hadassah National Vice President Janet Hand Deixler was previously an elected member of the National Board. She also served  as Chair of the Constitution Committee. As a member of the Portfolio Council, Deixler held positions as Chair of Leaders of Tomorrow and the Know Your Own Worth program. She was the last Region President of the former Hadassah Upper Mid-Atlantic, where she held a variety of region positions, including Vice President, Annual Giving and Treasurer. Deixler served as the Hadassah Northeast Co-Chair of a Leadership Retreat, and within her own chapter, served in a variety of leadership positions culminating in President. She and her husband Miles, a Hadassah Associate, who split their time between Schenectady, NY and Port Saint Lucie, FL, are Hadassah Keepers of the Gate. 

Deixler states, "I am truly grateful for the variety of service positions I have held with Hadassah have provided me with an extraordinary opportunity to be of service to Jewish women here in the U.S. as well as to the land and people of Israel. This leadership position will enable me to have a meaningful impact on moving HWZOA forward as we further our mission and strengthen our bonds with and commitment to Israel."

Hadassah National Vice President Marcia Gabrilove Ladin recently served as the Vice- Coordinator of the Executive Division, a National Vice President, and co-chaired the 2014 National Convention in Las Vegas. Prior to that, she served as the Young Judaea Scholarship Chair, continuing today on the scholarship allocations team. Ladin has also held the National Portfolios of Young Judaea Fundraising Vice-Chair, Hadassah Northeast Co-op Chair, Henrietta Szold Women's Hall of Fame Chair and National Chair of Bulletins and Publications. Ladin served as President of the Upper New York State Region, a culmination of many years and positions on her region board. 

Ladin states, My Zionist journey that began with a family trip to Israel, found a place to deepen with Hadassah. I am honored to have been elected a national vice president, where I can share my love of Israel, my passion for the work we do, and my desire to connect with and inspire others to join me as we make a difference in the world.” 

Hadassah National Vice President Rachel Schonberger, MD was most recently Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) National Chair and is a member of Hadassah's National Board. She is a Past President of Hadassah Greater Atlanta and Hadassah Southeastern Region. Her previous HWZOA positions include: Founding Chair, Hadassah National Physicians Council, Resource Chair, Super South, and HWZOA’s National Service Committee.  

In addition to her HWZOA portfolio, Schonberger has had a long professional association with Emory University, where she has served as Clinic Physician and Asst. Professor for the Depts. of Community Health, Community Medicine and Family and Preventive Medicine. Additionally, she served as Interim Chair, Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine; Director, Division of Community Medicine, Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine; Director of the Division of Community Medicine at Emory and Grady Hospital; and Director, Grady Hospital Neighborhood Health Centers. 

Schonberger states, “As National Vice President, I will work to strengthen Hadassah organizationally at local levels and develop members’ personal connections to all of our projects. The privilege of meeting doctors and nurses at HMO over the past 4 years has deepened my appreciation for their commitment to excellence in science and patient care. I better understand the practical impact of the fund raising we do to support the cutting-edge research that makes Hadassah scientists highly sought by first rate colleagues all over the world for collaborative research.” 

National Secretary Carol Ann Schwartz, from Cincinnati, Ohio, was a National Vice President, a member of the National Board, the Executive, Finance, Management and  Strategic Implementation Committees, a Building Hadassah Communities Madricha and Hadassah Representative on the AZM Board. Her National Portfolio Committee Memberships include: the 2018 Washington, DC Health Summit Day on the Hill Captain; Strategic Planning, Young Woman’s Sub-Team, Unit Oversight and Compliance Committee, and the 2016 Atlanta National Convention Chair. Formerly president of Hadassah Cincinnati, Schwartz also served as Programming Vice President, and Donor Chair. She is a third-generation co-owner of The Morris Investment Company, Cincinnati, OH. She and her husband Michael are Hadassah Founders and members of the Society of Major Donors. Schwartz is also a Keeper of The Gate.

Schwartz enthuses, "There is nothing in life (or work) that cannot be solved without working together and valuing the talent that each person brings to the ‘table.’ We have to walk the walk if we are going to talk the talk. L’Dor v’Dor - from generation to generation. Just as our parents did for us, we taught our children that their voice -- and actions -- make a difference. Together, we will achieve our goals. None of us can accomplish our tasks in a vacuum, we have committees, we have partners, we have collaborations and we have an amazing group of professional volunteers and staff! Together, we accomplish greatness. Yes, where one of us stands all 300,000 plus members stand -- together. From this point forward, we stand up straight, we shine brightly and we lead the way for others to follow. We are Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of American. We are ‘The Power of Women Who Do!’  We have the power to heal the world!”

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on critical issues such as medical care and research and women's empowerment. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.


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.