Dialog Box

Bringing the Zionist Dream to Life

I recently watched an absorbing interview with American author Francine Klugsburn, speaking about her new book, Henrietta Szold: Hadassah and the Zionist Dream.

Klugsburn’s biography is not the first deep dive into the life and times of the iconic Henrietta Szold. Indeed, Szold’s life has been a source of fascination for many writers. I think I have worked out why, and my insight is linked to the upcoming celebration of Passover and the traditional recitation of Dayenu (“It would have been enough”). The song’s stanzas list a series of kindnesses God performed for the Jewish people during and after the Exodus and concludes each with the word dayenu — “it would have been enough.”

Born in Baltimore, USA in 1860, Szold was the oldest of five girls. Bright and a voracious learner, Szold absorbed the richness of Jewish traditions from her immigrant parents, especially from her father, a congregational rabbi. 

Over the course of her eighty-four years Szold was singularly responsible for initiatives that helped shape Jewish life in America and Israel. 

Any one of them, from the founding of the Jewish Publication Society, the establishment of a national network of night schools for the teaching of English to European immigrants to the USA, the founding of the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organisation of America and the establishment of the life-saving Youth Aliya, would have been a remarkable achievement. Enough for us to truly say, for each of them: Dayenu. 

For Hadassah Australia, Henrietta Szold remains an inspiration and a potent factor driving our commitment to do whatever we can to help build the State of Israel; in our case through health. 

We give practical expression to Henrietta’s vision through the support we provide to the Hadassah Medical Organization, and for a variety of other impactful programs – the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center, Goshen, Achotenu, Bat Ami and medical research – that are contributing to better health outcomes in Jerusalem, Israel and beyond. 

Our ability to deliver on the Mission of Hadassah Australia, is directly due to the generous, and ongoing support of you, our supporters, and donors.

Ron Finkel AM - President of Hadassah Australia

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27 March 2024
Category: News