Hadassah Receives $500,000 Grant to Reestablish Services on Mt. Scopus
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Hadassah Receives $500,000 Grant to Reestablish Services on Mt. Scopus

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A grant of $500,000 has been made to Hadassah by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation of New York to establish a Daniel and Florence Guggenheim rehabilitation foundation at Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, the opening session of the Women’s Zionist Organization’s 53rd annual convention was told here tonight.

Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, president, announced the grant to some 3,700 delegates and guests gathered in the municipal auditorium. She said Hadassah would transfer its school of occupational therapy, now located in the old buildings in Jerusalem, to premises formerly occupied by the Hadassah nurses’ training school on Mt. Scopus, the use of which had been forbidden by the Jordanians since 1948. Mt. Scopus is now entirely in Israeli hands.

Mrs. Jacobson also outlined Hadassah’s response to the renewed call by Israeli officials to western nations for immigration and the Hadassah view on immigration as the key to Zionism. She urged Hadassah’s 318,000 members to “carry out a spiritual pledge to give their children some form of Israel experience to back up and fortify the Jewish experience they receive in their homes.” She said this meant that Hadassah was promoting immigration “but in Hadassah’s own way.”

“We believe the desire to return to Israel to settle will come to some portion of those who have the opportunity to experience what life in Israel can offer them and what they can offer Israel,” she said, adding that “we believe it is not necessary or incumbent on a Zionist to settle in Israel to prove she is a Zionist, but we also believe that those who do, have climbed to the top of the ladder of Zionist commitment and are making the most important contribution to the future of the Jewish people.”

Declaring that “no Zionist organization can turn away from the challenge of Israel’s need for Western immigration,” Mrs. Jacobson told the delegates she believed that “the incredible, wholehearted, instant response of world Jewry to rush to Israel’s side during its days of crisis can surely be channeled to bring the same response to Israel in time of its peacetime needs for American aliyah. The least we can do is to expose American youth to the opportunity to make this decision for themselves.”


She disclosed that the organization also will build on Mount Scopus a Hadassah Youth Center “to house American youth who come to stay and study in Israel for six months or a year.” She said this program represented some of Israel’s needs now, as well as the needs of American Jews “who are eager to find meaning for their Jewish identity.”

Mrs. Jacobson voiced “disappointment and concern” over the development in the United States of “anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist factions in the Negro community.” She added, however, that “as thoughtful citizens, deeply aware of our nation’s need and responsibility to uplift this segment of our foundation, we shall not allow these statements and the attitudes of irresponsible groups to affect our whole-hearted support and understanding of the struggle of the Negro to win full equality. In spite of our deep anger at this dangerous development, we shall continue to help in this problem.” She added that “we would welcome — and indeed call upon responsible Negro leaders — to repudiate these statements in clear-cut terms.”


In another part of her address, she denounced “the unforgivable insults uttered by the Soviet delegation at the United States against the Jewish people and the Zionist movement,” last May and June.

“Israel’s victory over the Arab forces which sought its annihilation has touched off a vicious anti-Israel campaign in the Soviet press and on Soviet radio and television.” she told the session. “But this is more than an attack on Israel,” she stressed. “This campaign in the Soviet media is directed with even more venom against the Jews of the Soviet Union through anti-Semitic articles, cartoons and commentaries. Since the public media are controlled by the Soviet Government, their anti-Semitic barrages have served to instigate many incidents against Jews.”

President Johnson, in a message, lauded Hadassah as “a way of life” for its members “as well as for those whom they are designed to help.” He said that Hadassah “has sought to guide the world’s youth to self-fulfilment through vocational training and education” and that “it had brought new-found hope to those whom suffering and adversity has taught only despair.”

He also said that, “at a time when, more than ever before in history, our nation is moving to right past wrongs and end the injustice that for too long has marked the basic premise of our democratic life, Hadassah’s membership is well equipped to face the challenge before us. Your President and your nation count on your sustained support.”

The session was opened with the sounding of the shofar in memory of the Israelis who were killed in the six-day June war.

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