By Rhoda Smolow
This Mother's Day, we'll be celebrating everyone who's cherished as a mother, and — more broadly — every woman who has had the vision to help create a better world for everyone's children. Our own founder, Henrietta Szold, never had children of her own, yet is heralded as a mother of Israel. Each February, her yahrzeit, the anniversary of her death, is celebrated nationwide in Israel, in what began as an Israeli version of Mother's Day but was renamed Family Day to be more inclusive.
Here in the United States, Mother's Day falls during Jewish American Heritage Month. At Hadassah, where we believe it's important to lift up the voices of women every day, we're celebrating both. So in addition to tipping our hats to everyone who makes Hadassah a powerful women's organization, we're proud to lift up many of the other organizations and institutions that help raise awareness and educate about Hadassah women's impact in Jewish American life.
In fact, on Thursday, I was honored to be invited to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and the introduction of the first bipartisan, bicameral resolution honoring this important month in Washington, D.C., at the Russell Senate Office Building.
Our history is long — and while our eyes are set on the future, to paraphrase Henrietta Szold — I hope you'll enjoy joining me and Hadassah friends and family around the country in looking back.
- Our Website, Our History
- American Jewish Historical Society
The Hadassah archives are housed — on long-term deposit — at the American Jewish Historical Society. The collection is immense and starts back in 1875 (before Hadassah’s founding in 1912), and it includes the papers of Henrietta Szold, as well as past national presidents, executive directors and much more!
- Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
Home to Jewish American Heritage Month, of which Hadassah is a participating organization, the Weitzman's site for #JAHM includes Henrietta Szold in its list of "Extraordinary Individuals."
- National Women's Hall of Fame
Henrietta Szold was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2007.
Read her entry here.
- Jewish Women's Archive
The Jewish Women's Archive includes dozens of entries and articles featuring Hadassah and our leaders over the past century, including Hadassah in the United States, Hadassah: Yishuv to the Present Day, Founding of Hadassah and Alice Seligsberg, Etta Lasker Rosensohn and other women you may not know by name but whose impact is inspirational.
- US Library of Congress
Henrietta Szold is included in the Library of Congress's From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America exhibit.
- US Congressional Record
Hadassah's centennial made headlines in 2012, but I hope you, like me, will love this Senate Resolution recognizing Hadassah for "Hadassah's important contributions to medical research and care, the health of communities, the US-Israel relationship, and the continuity of Jewish heritage.
- 18 American Zionist Women You Should Know
As we look ahead and celebrate Hadassah & Israel — Together at 75 all year long, join us in recognizing this diverse list of women, who share our passion for Israel.
I speak often of the pride, passion and purpose that Hadassah inspires in me. I hope you'll help spread the word about our own Jewish American women — those who are and who will make history, bringing hope and healing into the future.
Happy Mother's Day and Jewish American History Month!