Last week, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), held its 97th National Convention in Las Vegas, NV. Over 800 members, supporters and associates came out to Vegas to celebrate Hadassah including Deborah Wiskind, president of Hadassah Westchester. Wiskind (from Ardsley, NY) describes the convention as, "a spirited and inspiring few days together presenting many new innovative directions for the organization. I'm excited to bring these incredible new programs back to Westchester."
Hadassah introduced several new initiatives to leaders and members, including The Uplift Project – a breast cancer awareness program, a walking challenge for heart health called Every Step Counts, eMember - an online membership initiative, and a new advocacy agenda, among others. Many inspiring panels, workshops, and plenaries gave attendees a lot to talk about and bring back to their chapters. Most notably, the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) plenary featured world-renowned trauma specialist and first responder Dr. Avi Rivkind, Head of the Shock Trauma Unit at HMO, who was able to provide incredible insights into the current situation in Israel and Gaza. New York Times Bestselling Author Ari Shavit and the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens engaged in a spirited and enthusiastic discussion on the current situation in Israel. Additionally, digital media marketing whiz and inspiring entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg hit home with the audience describing how empowering it was to be a Jewish woman and was then presented with the first eMembership. Between individual pledges and the first ever "text to pledge" campaign, Hadassah raised a stunning total of $1.5 million in 2 days.
Every convention's goal is to bring powerful Jewish women together to meet new women, connect and learn from each other as well as to discuss current issues facing Israel and the Jewish people. Wiskind walked away with a renewed and invigorated commitment to Hadassah and its work.
"The energy, excitement and passion for Hadassah and for Israel was visible from beginning to end. Convention surpassed our highest expectations. With something for everyone - from health and wellness, Zionism and education, advocacy and women's issues, our delegates could each leave with something that empowered them and will benefit their chapters," explain Convention Chairs Marcia Gabrilove Ladin (Rochester, NY) and Roselle Ungar (New Orleans, LA).
Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters, Hadassah is entering its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women's empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.