American Women Zionists and the Rebirth of Israel

By Mira Katzburg-Yungman

Contributions by: Tammy Berkowitz

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Zionist organization in the Diaspora and the largest and most active Jewish women's organization ever. Its history is an inseparable part of the history of American Jewry and of the State of Israel, and the relationship between them. Hadassah is also part of the history of Jewish women in the United States and in the modern world more broadly. Its achievements are not only those of Zionism but, crucially, of women, and throughout this study, author Mira Katzburg-Yungman pays particular attention to the life stories of the individual women who played a role in them. Key aspects of Hadassah's operations at each stage in its development are considered in detail. A wide-ranging introductory section describes the contexts and challenges of its early years and analyzes the leadership of that period. Subsequent sections deal in turn with: the organization's activity on the American scene; its political and ideological role in the World Zionist Organization and in the struggle for statehood; and its involvement in the new State of Israel, particularly in the field of medicine and health care and in its work with teenagers and young people. The final part of the book highlights the factors that have allowed Hadassah to appeal to women across the social and political spectrum, and looks at its relationships with the various individuals and organizations that it has partnered with over the years. The study concludes with an Epilogue that gives a retrospective view of the ideals and patterns of operation that have guided Hadassah through the years, and considers the extent to which they are still valid as it prepares to enter its second century. This extensive, diverse, and balanced study offers a picture of Hadassah in both arenas of its activity: in the land that is now the State of Israel and in the United States. In doing so, it makes a contribution not only to Zionist history, but also to the history of American Jewish women and of Jewish women more widely. *** In January 2013, this book was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award in the category of Women's Studies. *** "Richly detailed, making extensive use of Hadassah's own archival materials, Katzburg-Yungman's work is a significant contribution to the history of one of America's largest and most important women's organizations." - American Jewish History, Vol. 97, No. 4, October 2013 *** "...Katzburg-Yungman's book constitutes a crucial historiographical contribution - a study of Hadassah 'as a whole' in the United States, the Yishuv, and Israel....As a reference work, Hadassah offers comprehensive and descriptive narrative analysis. Last, and perhaps most important, it is difficult to read this volume without envisioning it in the classroom; the volume should be employed as a valuable teaching tool for its content and methodology." - American Jewish Archives Journal, Vol. LXV, Nos. 1 & 2, 2013 [Subject: Jewish Studies, Women's Studies, US Studies, History]~~

384 pages

Publication Date: 6/27/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781874774839

Available in other formats