The Jerusalem Post has a lengthy interview with the president of Hadassah, Nancy Falchuk.
The top lay leader at Hadassah has had to endure some trying times of late – primarily overseeing significant layoffs and watching as Hadassah emerged as one of Bernard Madoff’s most significant nonprofit victims.
But, Falchuk told the JPost, Hadassah long ago set in motion a plan to streamline and improve the organization and that has not changed with the recent developments.
According to Falchuk, not long before the US market crashed, she had informed the Hadassah Medical Organization that it would need to start "absorbing more of its own operating costs, so that [Hadassah Women's Organization] can concentrate on the capital budget for the new hospital tower."
The hospital’s operating budget was then cut from $40m. to $15m., with the government promising to pick up some of the loss, she explains.
Hadassah has made other cutbacks too, with Young Judaea, North America’s only secular Zionist youth movement, having its funding reduced by some $2m., and the Hadassah College of Technology also suffering losses. Most recently, Hadassah put two multimillion-dollar Jerusalem properties – one utilized by Young Judaea and the other by its alumni branch, Hamagshimim – onto the market.
"We are not actively trying to sell them but will, of course, accept offers on them," said a spokeswoman for Hadassah in Israel. "If we do sell them, Young Judaea will move its operations to another location in the capital. For us, it’s the programs that are important not the physical buildings they are housed in."
Falchuk believes these steps need to be taken, not only to help Hadassah move forward during the recession but as a chance for the organizations it supports to find their own independence.
"Young Judaea has had to do the same thing that we did – reorganize," she says. "Hadassah has been supporting Young Judaea to the tune of $8m. and it was wonderful, but at a certain point they needed to become more self-sustaining. If you have the expectation that someone will cove
**correction. I just received this note:
The article “In hard times, Hadassah will stay the course” sites Young Judea as North America’s only secular Zionist youth movement. This statement is false. Habonim Dror North America is also a secular Zionist youth movement and has existed in North America for 75 years. We send approximately 200 youths to Israel every year, operate 7 camps in the US and Canada as well as year round programming in over 20 cities. Please correct the article.
Mazkir Klali – National Director
Habonim Dror North America