Hadassah is The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold, of which I am proudly a Life Member.
As stated on the Hadassah website:
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, was founded before Israel was a state and before women could vote. We didn’t sit on the sidelines then. And we certainly don’t now. Today, we’re 300,000 strong, across the country and across the generations, proof of just how big an impact we can have when we bring philanthropy and women’s leadership together. For 100+ years, Hadassah has worked proactively to find and implement solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing each generation. Together, we’re advancing women’s health, supporting a strong Israel and instilling Jewish values in future generations. We’re helping women find their voices to advance health equity, and fighting hate and antisemitism in the US, and modeling shared in Israel. Thanks to the medical system in Israel, we helped create, new treatments and scientific breakthroughs are saving lives around the world.
At Hadassah, we have the power to heal our world. For us, that means bringing healing — in every sense of the word — where it’s needed most, in the US, Israel and around the world. Every day. As volunteers. As philanthropists. As agents for change. As Zionism is in our name and in our hearts and we will never stand by when our unwavering support for Israel is challenged.
Hadassah is one of the largest international Jewish organizations in the United States. Hadassah fundraises for community programs and health initiatives in Israel, including the Hadassah Medical Organization, which is comprised of two world-class research hospitals in Jerusalem. In the US, the organization advocates on behalf of women’s rights, religious autonomy and US–Israel diplomacy. In Israel, Hadassah supports health education and research, women’s initiatives, schools and programs for underprivileged youth.
I belong to the Roosevelt chapter in the Hadassah Greater Detroit Region. Detroit has a rich history and strong commitment to Hadassah. We are proud to be home to one of the first chapters of Hadassah in the US. In 1916, Henrietta Szold came to Detroit to promote Hadassah and recruit women to form a local Hadassah group. She was hosted for ten days in the home of Joseph and Bessie Wetsman. Their daughter, Sarah (Wetsman) Davidson started Hadassah’s Detroit chapter. This family has supported Hadassah ever since.
The Wetsman Family financed the buildings used as Hadassah House over the years. Our current home, Sarah & Ralph Davidson Hadassah House at 5030 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, Michigan is named in honor of Sarah and her husband.
In 2007, Sarah’s son and daughter-in-law, William and Karen Davidson, on behalf of Guardian Industries, gave $75 million to Hadassah to construct a new inpatient tower at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. It was named the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower by her children, Dorothy Gerson and Bill Davidson, in memory of their mother. “The power of family is truly a binding one,” said the late Bill Davidson, adding that he felt privileged to be in the third generation of his family to support Hadassah’s achievements and goals, as reported in the Detroit Jewish News in 2012.
On Fridays, I receive an email, Here & Now, from Hadassah Greater Detroit. After reading the thoughtful note from our current President Mandy Garver (I love reading her columns), I scroll through the email, scanning the upcoming activities. Last February, I found this:
Join the Hadassah Writer’s Circle
SHARE YOUR STORIES: Join the Hadassah Writers’ Circle, a group of volunteer leaders, members and others, and write first-person stories about Hadassah’s world-class medical care, advocacy campaigns, programs or what Hadassah means to you. You can also write about Shabbat, the holidays, volunteering, mentoring or other topics and how they are connected to Hadassah. We’ll brainstorm with you and guide you through the writing process.
My interest was piqued. I sent an email attaching a personal essay about the holiday of Purim. Growing up, I loved to write. Recently, I joined a memoir writing class. So, here it was – a place to send my articles and actually get published. The Hadassah Media & Public Relations Department responded immediately. Soon, I had five articles published in The Times of Israel Blogs, as well as one article in our local Detroit Jewish News.
Mandy Garver, President of Hadassah Greater Detroit region wrote in one of her columns, “That’s one of the many things I love about Hadassah! Whatever your passion – and whether you’ve discovered it yet or not – Hadassah has an outlet for you. Discover your writing talent through Hadassah Writers’ Circle. Advocate on behalf of women’s health through advocacy. Love to read? Join one of Hadassah’s book clubs and hear firsthand from authors of current books through One Book, One Hadassah. Do you like to exercise? Every Move Counts just started a new session last Tuesday. Community, sisterhood, tikkun olam – we have it all! Spending some time on the Hadassah website to see what all is available to you as a member is time well spent, I guarantee.”
Mandy is right! In addition to supporting Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel and advocacy for women in the U.S., Hadassah locally provides many opportunities to meet other women, attend interesting and diverse programs (even a Shabbaton at our local Camp Tamarack), and explore new interests. I have found my niche at the Hadassah Writers’ Circle. You, too, can find your own niche at Hadassah.
Thank you, Hadassah for providing me a home for my interest and passion for writing. Join us! Be part of our powerful community.
For more information on Hadassah’s life-saving work at Hadassah Hospitals in Israel, please watch this video.