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Medical Center Dedicated on Mt. Scopus; Henrietta Szold Leads Simple Ceremony

May 10, 1939
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Climaxing a quarter century of endeavor by thousands of American Jewish women, the most splendid medical institution in the Middle East was inaugurated today when the million-dollar Medical Center atop Mt. Scopus was dedicated.

The dedicatory ceremonies were without pomp. Miss Henrietta Szold, pioneer American Zionist leader and founder of Hadassah, opened the Center with a silver key crowned with the Hadassah pin, handed to her by Dr. Chaim Yassky, director of the Hadassah Medical Organization. The key will be sent to the United States.

Miss Szold, in a spirited speech, traced Hadassah’s development, culminating in the Medical Center. Dr. Judah Magnes, president of the Hebrew University; Mrs. Rose Jacobs, former Hadassah president and now member of the Jewish Agency Executive; Rose Halperin, former Hadassah president; representatives of the building, coordinating and architectural committees, and members of the university faculty participated in the ceremonies.

One of the greatest of the many American achievements in the upbuilding of Palestine the Medical Center is the joint enterprise of Hadassah and the American Jewish Physicians Committee. It consists of three palatial buildings: the Rothschild-Hadassah-University Hospital, the Nathan Ratnoff Medical School (named for the noted New York physician who is chairman of the American Jewish Physicians’ Committee) and the Henrietta Szold Nursing School.

The Center occupies a site just below the Hebrew University, commanding a glorious view westward to Jerusalem and eastward to the Dead Sea, and is a ten-minute drive from the center of Jerusalem. The buildings form an open square in a wooded park named for Miss Szold. Steel-skeletoned, they are faced with native limestone, are earthquake-proof and feature the last word in architecture and equipment.

The largest unit is the hospital, which now contains 300 beds but will permit enlargement to 600 beds. Not only the operating rooms, but every detail is equal to the finest in American hospitals. Two enormous kitchens are included to provide meals in strict accordance with dietary laws.

The hospital’s big maternity wing was designed by Dr. Bernhard Zondek, renowned gynecologist and co-inventor of the Ascheim-Zondek pregnancy test. The Medical School will be opened later.

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