Hadassah to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of “Hadassah Shabbat Zachor”

Synagogues across country will honor Hadassah on March 3 and 4

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Media Contact:
Alix Friedman

NEW YORK, NY On Friday and Saturday March 3 and 4, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hadassah Shabbat Zachor. During this annual event, held on the Shabbat before Purim, synagogues around the country honor the myriad accomplishments of Hadassah’s members and supporters, past and present. To mark the anniversary, Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler will speak at a Hadassah Shabbat Zachor event on March 3 at Shomrei Torah synagogue in Wayne, New Jersey.

Since the program was launched in 2014, almost 150 synagogues around the country have held Hadassah Shabbat Zachor events, which are organized by local Hadassah chapters.

To make sure each event is as engaging and meaningful as possible, Hadassah has created a collection of resources that synagogues can incorporate into their Hadassah Shabbat Zachor events, such as a Kabbalat Shabbat prayer, an introduction to kiddush, new Shabbat songs and even suggested content for a sermon. Chapters are encouraged to invite guest speakers and host Hadassah Shabbat Zachor gatherings.

Hadassah’s ties to Purim run deep. Henrietta Szold founded the organization near Purim in 1912 and, inspired by the vision, courage and determination of the holiday’s heroine, named the organization after her (Queen Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah). This makes the Purim season the perfect time to celebrate the women of Hadassah – the Hadassah heroines.

Hadassah heroines include not only Szold and the early Hadassah members, who together laid the groundwork for Israel’s health care system and established what is now the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah’s medical center in Jerusalem. Hadassah heroines also include the army of 300,000 dedicated Hadassah members and supporters all over the United States who help Hadassah’s hospitals remain centers of excellence and who advocate for women’s health care, foster Zionism, help ensure Israel’s safety and security, fight antisemitism and set at-risk Israeli teens on the road to productive futures through Hadassah’s youth villages in Israel.

Said Rhoda Smolow, National President: “For more than a century, Hadassah heroines have followed in the footsteps of Queen Esther and Henrietta Szold, our visionary founder. Hadassah Shabbat Zachor is an opportunity for Jewish communities around the country to learn about the heroines living in their midst and what these remarkable women do for Jews, for Israel, for Zionism and for women.”

Added Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler: "Hadassah Shabbat Zachor is also a time to remember that just as our people were saved from harm in ancient Persia, we have a duty to save others from harm today. Hadassah heroines have embraced that duty time and time again – most recently, by raising the funds needed to send doctors and nurses from our hospitals in Israel to care for Ukrainian refugees on the Poland border and earthquake victims in Turkey."


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.