Contributions by: Tammy Berkowitz
Founded in 1912, Hadassah - the Women's Zionist Organization of America - has become the largest Zionist organization in the world 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 of the relationship between them, but also of the history of Jewish women in the United States. 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 it. Now available in paperback, the book focuses on: Hadassah's activities in America, both before and after the birth of the State of Israel; its political and ideological role in the World Zionist Organization; and its involvement in the Yishuv and Israel with medicine and health care, as well as with the welfare of children and young people. A concluding section considers broader concerns, such as gender issues, a comparison of Hadassah with other Zionist organizations, and the role of people from the Yishuv, and later of Israelis, in Hadassah's activities. The book also analyzes the impact of changes within the wider American Jewish community in the 1980s and 1990s - specifically the enormous increase in marriage with non-Jews and the so-called 'second wave' of feminism. This extensive, diverse, and balanced study makes an important 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.
Publication Date: 6/5/2014