Hadassah International Leadership from 9 countries came together for two days in Jerusalem on November 12–13, 2017, to be Motivated and Mobilized. The goal was to find a way to more effectively spread the message worldwide that the Hadassah Medical Center is “More than a Hospital”.

Ellen Hershkin, the President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), attended the entire conference to fully understand the concerns facing the International Hadassah Community.


Day One:

The first day of the conference defined the current state of Hadassah International and its future challenges and opportunities.

Joyce Rabin, Hadassah International President, opened the meetings by showcasing the many successes of Hadassah International (HI) Units around the world in her “State of the World”. She highlighted how our international units with diverse cultures and languages successfully focus attention on Hadassah’s exceptional medical care, it’s global leadership in research saving lives around the world, how it builds bridges to peace, and teaches the future healthcare providers. Hadassah International Units are successfully holding events that inspire donors to make a difference and save lives through their contributions to Hadassah.

Led by Robert Dorfman, Vice President of the HI Board of Directors; Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Australia; and Patricia Levinson, Member of the HI Board of Directors and HI Communications Chair; the delegates discussed the challenges of enabling the Hadassah message to be heard in a disruptive world – in an age of changing media and philanthropy trends. Innovative concepts of disseminating information and reaching out to individuals who would like to make a difference by contributing to Hadassah were discussed.

The HI leadership were introduced to the campaign to modernize the old iconic “Round Building”, Hadassah’s original hospital building on the Ein Kerem campus, by Diane Issenberg, HWZOA Development Chair; Miki Schulman, Round Building Campaign Chair; and Sevil Miyhandar, the Managing Director of CCS Fundraising New York.

This three-year campaign will be launched in January 2018 and will include an additional two floors and insure that the building is earthquake-proof, with retro-fitted utilities and expanded patient rooms.

200 beds will be added to accommodate the growing population of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in the region.


Welcome Dinner:

Photo on the left: Ron Finkel, President, Hadassah Australia; Ellen Hershkin, National President, HWZOA; Diane Issenberg, HWZOA Development Chair. Photo on the right: Welcome Dinner at Hadassah Mount Scopus

At a “Welcoming Dinner” at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital on the first night of the conference, delegates enjoyed a delicious meal served by Hadassah’s award-winning Head Chef.

A highlight of the evening was meeting Haim Levtov, a paratrooper who was severely injured and has been undergoing extensive rehabilitation at Hadassah. He was featured in a video, and was thrilled to sing for the group.

HMO Patient Chaim Levtov with Director of Latin America Ethel Fainstein

Prof Zeev Rotstein, Director General of the Hadassah Hospitals, gave the delegates an update on the vastly improved financial status of the hospital and the plans to improve the hospital even more by providing additional beds and building new dedicated Centers of Excellence on the Ein Kerem Hospital Campus.

He emphasized that patients are coming to the Hadassah hospitals in search of the best possible medical treatment in such large numbers that there is a problem with over-occupancy. Hadassah is the trusted model of a leading international medical center.

Ellen Hershkin, HWZOA National President, and Prof. Zeev Rotstein, HMO Director General

Hadassah is attracting “star” academics, and its research and teaching continue to be among the best in the world.

From left to right: Joyce Rabin, President, Hadassah International; Melissa Kaplan, Executive Director, Hadassah International; Meir Mark, Director, Hadassah International Israel; Chaim Levtov, HMO Patient













Day Two:

The second day was spent at the Hadassah Hospital at Ein Kerem. Delegates were given a tour of the “Round Building” by Prof. Yoram Weiss, Director of the Hadassah Hospital at Ein Kerem.

The need to raise the money to modernize the building became very clear to all, and they were inspired to go home and make this a reality.

HI Delegates were also inspired by a series of lectures by Hadassah staff whose work has made a significant difference to entire communities.

They learned how:

  • An NGO called “Nurses in the Middle East” builds bridges to peace. Two Hadassah Nurses — Julie Benbenishty, an Intensive Care Nurse who serves as the Trauma Nurse Coordinator at Hadassah Ein Kerem, and Akram Sa’ad, who is both Head Nurse in the Hadassah Radiology Department and a lawyer are very involved with this NGO. They were interviewed by Jorge Diener, Hadassah International Senior Director of International Projects. Read more at http://v2023.hadassahinternational.org/hadassah-builds-bridges-peace/
  • Mushira Aboo Dia, a Hadassah Obstetrician/ Gynecologist, helps the victims of sexual abuse and assault through the Hadassah Medical Center’s Bat Ami Center. (Dr. Aboo Dia was also interviewed by Jorge Diener). Read more at http://v2023.hadassahinternational.org/treating-victims-sexual-abuse-assault/

Finally, the Hadassah Leadership heard from Erez Meltzer, Chair of the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) Board of Directors, who discussed how the agreement with the Israeli Government has changed the structure of the HMO Board. He also outlined sources of income for the Hospitals moving forward, including increasing the number of beds, realization of Intellectual Property resulting from Hadassah’s Research and Development, and the sale of isotopes from the Hadassah Cyclotron to other hospitals. He stated that he Board is constantly evaluating and reassessing the progress of the Hadassah Hospitals, and seeking ways to improve them.

Mr. Meltzer thanked the “Hadassah army of volunteers” who are working to support the hospital. Over the past century, Hadassah volunteers from the United States and around the world have been the second largest source of donations to Israel. It is impressive to note that from 2005-2016, over 2.5 Billion Shekels were donated to the Hadassah Medical Organization by Hadassah!

During the final wrap-up, it was clear that the participants wanted even more – perhaps an extra day with more time to share strategies and learn from each other. There is no doubt that the two days together was both inspirational and energizing!


Report: Patricia Levinson, Hadassah International Communications Chair. – For more photos, please see the HI LM 2017 Report