Henrietta Szold was a U.S. Jewish Zionist leader and founder of the Hadassah Women’s Organization. Henrietta Szold was born in 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of a Rabbi Benjamin Szold, who was the spiritual leader of Baltimore’s Temple Oheb Shalom. She was the eldest of eight daughters. In 1877. Henrietta was raised by her rabbi father to be deeply committed to the Jewish people and the world of Jewish tradition and scholarship. As an essayist, translator, and editor, she became one of the few women to play a foundational role in creating ameaningful American Jewish culture.she graduated from Western Female High School. For fifteen years, she taught at Miss AdamSchool and Oheb Shalom religious school, and gave Bible and history courses for adults. To further her own education, she attended public lectures at Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody Institute. Szold established the first American night school to provide English language instruction and vocational skills to Russian Jewish immigrants in Baltimore. Beginning in 1893, she worked for the Jewish Publication Society, a position she maintained for over two decades. Her commitment to Zionism was heightened by a trip to Palestine in 1909. She founded Hadassah in 1912 and served as its president until 1926. In 1933 she immigrated to Palestine. Largely under Szold’s leadership, Hadassah created the infrastructure for a modern medical system in Palestine that would serve both Jews and Arabs. Szold spent most of the last twenty-five years of her life in Palestine, overseeing numerous health, educational, and social service institutions that would become an integral part of the State of Israel. In her seventies, under the shadow of the Nazi threat in Europe, ahe helped run Youth Aliyah, an organization that rescued some 22,000 Jewish children from Nazi Europe. [http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/szold]
Henrietta Szold’s Quotes:
- In the life of the spirit there is no ending that is not a beginning.
- Women were freed from positive duties when they could not perform them, but not when they could.
- I would exchange everything for one child of my own.