FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2017 - NEW YORK — Hadassah will celebrate the 1967 return of its Mount Scopus hospital and the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem at a May 25th ceremony with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, according to Ellen Hershkin, 26th National President of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA). The May 25th ceremony will re-create the memorable "key return" ceremony when then Hadassah National President Charlotte Jacobson received a commemorative key to Hadassah Mount Scopus from Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, reuniting Hadassah's two hospitals in Jerusalem. The Mount Scopus hospital, which was closed after the 1948 attack on a convoy of hospital personnel, had become a UN-protected Israeli exclave guarded by Israeli security forces.
Hershkin, citing the vital humanitarian role Hadassah's two Jerusalem hospitals — Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem — played in the Reunification, states, "Hadassah is the heartbeat of Jerusalem and our hospitals have always served as an oasis of healing and a tower of hope for the entire population of Israel — Jewish, Arab, Christian and others. The May 25th ceremony will honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to Jerusalem's Reunification and pay tribute to those people whose tireless efforts have made HMO a modern complex that rivals the best hospitals and research facilities anywhere in the world."
Hadassah Executive Director and CEO Janice Weinman states, "HMO's equality of medical care regardless of race, religion or nationality received a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for offering 'bridges to peace' between Jews and Arabs." Weinman recalled Hadassah Ein Kerem Director General Dr. Kalman Mann's 1967 statement: "War and hatred were forgotten at the hospital entrance. Arab soldiers wounded so seriously that they were abandoned by their Jordanian comrades were treated just like Jewish casualties." Weinman notes: "Today, over one third of HMO's patients are of Arab descent and HMO's medical and research staffs are completely integrated."
Completed in 1934, Hadassah Mount Scopus was critical to the success of Hadassah's mission to introduce modern health care to Israel. Following the closing of the Mount Scopus hospital, Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) — an alliance of hospitals and medical centers throughout Jerusalem — was established. Hadassah Ein Kerem, completed in 1961, brought back together Israel's first Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry which Hadassah had established earlier in the century and which were previously located throughout Jerusalem.
When the June 1967 war began, Hadassah Ein Kerem was prepared for massive casualties thanks to a meticulous emergency plan created two years earlier by Director General Mann and his staff of physicians, nurses, hospital personnel, medical students and volunteers. 15,000 sandbags were filled, hundreds of blackout shields created, 2,000 windows and glass doors were covered with anti-splinter gauze, forty tanks of drinking water were distributed, tons of frozen meat and vegetables were in reserve and an emergency power system was made operational. Nine panels of the Hadassah Ein Kerem's 12 iconic Marc Chagall Windows had already been removed for storage when Jordanian shells exploded in a courtyard, damaging one of the three remaining windows as well as the Gynecology and Obstetrics Departments.
Only 92 physicians remained on Hadassah Ein Kerem's staff, of which only 17 were surgeons, as all doctors under the age of 49 had been called up by the Israeli Army. Working non-stop over the next three days, they performed over 400 major operations with the assistance of dentists, dermatologists, researchers, public health doctors, psychiatrists and anyone with any medical experience at all who could withstand the round-the-clock pace.
Over the next three days, five women would give birth at Hadassah Ein Kerem.
On June 7, the road to Mount Scopus was opened again and the hospital was reclaimed by Hadassah. Just as Jerusalem was reunited, so Hadassah was reunited with its two hospital campuses. Hadassah National President Charlotte Jacobson formally received the keys to Hadassah Mount Scopus and announced that plans had already been finalized to renovate and reopen the hospital. Hadassah Mount Scopus re-opened 1975.
HWZOA recently concluded a successful fundraising campaign to complete the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower on the Ein Kerem campus. In 2016, Hadassah Ein Kerem's ER was rated #1 in Israel for Patient Satisfaction and Quality Assurance by Israel's Ministry of Health.
HMO sees one million patients annually, which includes — in 2016 alone -- 93,000 hospitalizations; 88,650 day hospitalizations; 35,500 operations; 12,000 births; 4 million laboratory tests; 705,000 outpatient clinic visits; 450,000 imaging exams and 150,000 emergency room visits.
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is the largest women's Zionist 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.