Jerusalem (Dec. 21)
Miss Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah omen’s Zionist Organisation of America and of the Hadassah medical Unit, who has been proclaimed by the Hadassah Convention as the “foremost Jewish woman in America”, and name Mother in Israel”, celebrated her 71st. birthday to-day.
Miss Szold, who is the only woman who has been a member of the Zionist World Executive, is at present a permanent resident in Palestine, and a member of the Executive of the Palestine Jewish National Council (Vaad Leumi).
Miss Szold was born in Baltimore on December 21st. 1860, and was from the age of 17 till 1892 a school-teacher in her native city. In that year she resigned to become editorial secretary of the Jewish Publication Society of America, for which she translated a number of books, including “Jewish Ethics” by Lazarus, “Jewish Legends” by Professor Louis Ginzberg, and “Hebrew Renaissance” by Professor Nahum Slousch. She compiled the Index Volume to the English edition of Gratz’s “History of the Jews”. In 1904 she became editor of the American Jewish Year Book, holding this position for four years.
In 1912, she was at the head of a small group of women in New York who organised the Hadassah, to conduct the specific task of creating a system of public health work in Falestine, according to American methods. A year later the Hadassah began its activities in Palestine by sending two American nurses to Jerusalem to do district visiting nursing. Later a system of maternity nursing in the homes was established. In 1918 a unit of forty-four physicians, sanitarians, dentists, nurses and administrators was dispatched to Palestine. Later the name of the American Zionist Medical Unit was changed to the Hadassah Medical Organisation.
When Miss Szold attained her 70th. birthday last year she was acclaimed “teacher and leader of Israel, in reverend appreciation of a life-time of vast and selfless labours for the cause of Jewish national renaissance”, in an announcement signed by practically all the political and social welfare bodies in Palestine, headed by the Jewish Agency, the Vaad Leumi and the Palestine Zionist Executive. The Palestine Labour Federation, Histadruth Haovdim, emphasised in a special tribute Miss Szold’s energy, devotion, passion and love of constructive work.
Dr. J. L. Magnes, the Chancellor of the Hebrew University, wrote that there had never been anything like her for conscience-clear, meticulous, painstaking, unselfish and generous work. May she long remain, he said, as the conscience of the return to Zion.
It was at the 1927 Congress in Basle that Miss Szold was elected to the Zionist Executive, being one of the members of the triumvirate in Palestine, of which the other two members were Colonel Misch and Mr. Harry Sacher. She is looked up to in Palestine as the authority on educational, health and social service activities.