2018: A Year of Advocacy Successes

December 31, 2018

2018: A Year of Advocacy Successes

Several end-of-year legislative victories capped off a banner year for Hadassah advocacy! Hadassah advocates can feel proud of everything we've accomplished together in 2018.  Check out the year’s advocacy highlights and help amplify our impact for 2019.

With the help of dedicated grassroots Hadassah advocates, Congress passed crucial, bipartisan legislation that strengthens Israel’s security, combats anti-Semitism and promotes women’s health and well-being.

  • Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act formally condemns terrorist organizations and operatives that exploit the presence of civilians in proximity to fighting, imposes sanctions, and takes effective actions against those facilitating, encouraging, controlling or directing such acts. The US Ambassador to the United Nations has been directed to use his/her influence to secure sanctions against terrorist organizations and operatives for using human shields, and to require UN agencies to monitor and track the use of human shields. Thank Congress
  • Combating European Anti-Semitism Act will increase congressional partnerships with European governments, the European Union, and civil society groups to better monitor and respond to anti-Semitic acts across the continent. Thank Congress
  • Preventing Maternal Deaths Act mandated the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate pregnancy-related and maternal deaths. It also grants states the funding needed to review maternal deaths, establish a maternal mortality review committee, and ensure that state health departments implement plans for families to be educated on maternal care. Thank Congress
  • An anti-trafficking legislative package – including the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act and Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act – will support critical programs to prevent human trafficking, promote justice for survivors, provide services to victims, train medical professionals in identifying and serving victims, and increase federal coordination to enhance the federal government’s response to the crisis of exploitation. Thank Congress

Help us amplify our impact for 2019! Welcome the 116th Congress via the Hadassah National Action Center and register to become a Hadassah Advocate.

Early in the year, Hadassah was represented at the introductory press conference for the bipartisan Never Again Education Act. Joined by National President Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah Executive Director/CEO Janice Weinman shared remarks affirming Hadassah’s support and lead role in securing organizational and legislative support. Throughout the year Hadassah helped secure 15 cosponsors for the bill, which would help expand Holocaust and anti-hate education nationwide.

As part of Celebration 2018, the Hadassah Women's Health & Advocacy Conference in May gave Hadassah advocates the tools to engage their communities and empower women back home, particularly around Hadassah's health and advocacy efforts in the United States and in Israel. During Day on the Hill, 250 Hadassah advocates from 25 states and every Hadassah Region participated in over 80 meetings with congressional offices. Conference attendees also joined the Women’s Health Empowerment Summit, hosted by Hadassah’s Coalition for Women’s Health Equity.

Hadassah members held 34 Day in the District meetings with federal legislators when they were home from Washington. Meetings occurred from coast-to-coast in 14 different states — the most Days in the District of any year since the program was launched.

Hadassah proudly opened a Government Relations Office in Washington, DC and hosted an opening reception on December 6. The office will give Hadassah a physical base from which to educate, activate and mobilize our membership, serving as a hub to harness grassroots engagement and maximize advocacy impact. At the same time, it will position us to deepen our critical relationships on Capitol Hill and with the White House, and lead Hadassah’s legislative and grassroots mobilization strategies, including working side-by-side with congressional offices in support of key policies.

Hadassah members and supporters raised awareness on social media and sent thousands of messages to Congress in support of our policy priorities. By promoting the opinion pieces by Hadassah’s leaders, you spread the word about our love for Israel, the need for Holocaust education, and misdiagnoses that put women’s health at risk.

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