By Herman Bernstein Contributing Editor
The twentieth annual convention of Hadassah was held in Washington. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt brought the delegates “a word of greeting” from the President. Mrs. Roosevelt praised the work of Hadassah in Palestine and also emphasized the importance of the work to be done by American women in this country, Jews and Gentiles “working side by side.”
“We must not let barriers grow up between us, but with goodwill work together, disregarding pettiness, unkindness and injustices for the things we want to see accomplished,” she added.
Rabbi Milton Steinberg, of New York, delivered the principal address at the banquet which closed the convention. Rabbi Steinberg declared that the position of the Jew in Europe is “completely impossible” and that Zionism is the “only logical anawer” that the Jewish world can give to its needs and problems. He spoke of the “triple challenge” with which Jewry is confronted and described this challenge as “the intolerable position of the Jew in Europe, the threat of the inner dissolution of Judaism and the need to build a social order which shall be an expression of Jewish idealism.”
On the same morning the cornerstone of the new Rothschild-Hadassah – Hebrew University Hospital was laid on Mt. Scopus, in Jerusalem, in the presence of the Acting High Commissioner, the American Consul General, the president of the Hebrew University and a large gathering. Miss Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah, presided at the ceremony and laid the cornerstone. The new hospital, which is being erected with the aid of the American Hadassah, will not only replace the antiquated Rothschild Hospital but will serve also as a center for research and post-graduate medical work. Eventually it is planned to establish also an undergraduate medical faculty affiliated with the Hebrew University.
To Henrietta Szold, the American Zionist who founded the Hadassah and who has given it inspiring leadership during the past twenty years, the cornerstone laying of this new important institution in Palestine must have afforded the greatest joy and gratification. The idealism, the sacrifices and the constant tireless efforts of Miss Szold both in this country and in Palestine have set the noblest example of humanitarian achievement in Eretz Israel.
The American women Zionists have followed the leadership of Miss Szold and have contributed more than their share toward the rehabilitation of Palestine. They have done their work with extraordinary intelligence, with fine organizing ability, with truly inspiring idealism.
The American women Zionists, through the Hadassah, have by their generosity and their indefatigable efforts rendered an enduring service to the Jewish people. Their humanitarian pioneering work in the rebuilding of the ancient Jewish homeland merits the admiration not only of the Jewish people but of all broadminded and thinking people of other nations as well.