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Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold’s intellectual and social contributions shaped the lives of Jews in two countries: the United States and the still-forming State of Israel.

A Young American Jew in Israel, 1947-1948

When Zipporah ("Zippy") Porath arrived in Jerusalem in October 1947, she expected to spend a year studying at Hebrew University and enjoying the adventures of life in the land of Israel. She did not expect to be caught up in a war or to become an underground fighter in the Haganah, but history intervened and changed the course of her life. In lively letters she wrote home to her family, Zipporah described the historic events in which she participated. This Go & Learn guide uses Zipporah's letters to explore the founding of the State of Israel from the perspective of a young American woman who joined the Zionist effort.

Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish

Jewish tradition is filled with rituals that help us mark moments of joy and pain, and through which we can honor family members and the values they have passed on to us. Among these are powerful practices around death—such as saying Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners) and sitting shiva. Traditionally, women did not recite the Kaddish or participate in the minyan (prayer quorum) at shiva. In 1916, in an early example of what would be many challenges by women to the restrictions on their participation in Jewish ritual, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and asserted her right to say Kaddish. In the letter featured in this edition of "Go & Learn," Szold politely declines the offer of a male family friend to say Kaddish for her mother and sets out her reasons for reciting it herself.

A few more stories for the road

As I prepare to leave my position as JWA’s Director of Public History after more than 12 years here, my mind keeps returning me back to the summer day in 2000 when I first stepped into the offices of the Jewish Women’s Archive. At the time, I was a disgruntled graduate student, disillusioned with life in the Ivory Tower and the academic study of women’s history. (Was a library really the best place to learn about women’s activism, I wondered?).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a fitting culmination for Jewish American Heritage Month

As you know if you read the Jewish Women’s Archive blog, May is Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM).

Toward an inclusive celebration of Jewish motherhood

What does it mean to be a Jewish mother?

10 Things You Should Know About Gertrude Weil

Gertrude Weil was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1879. Her father, an immigrant from Germany, was among the business and civic leaders of the community. At the age of 15, she was sent to Horace Mann High School in New York City. She went on to Smith College, where, in 1901, she became the first graduate from North Carolina.

Henrietta Szold and Emma Goldman: Star-crossed "Women of Valor"

December 21st is the winter solstice and this year it was also the date of a lunar eclipse. December 21st, however, is also a big day for two important "stars": Henrietta Szold and Emma Goldman, two very important women in JWA's online Women of Valor exhibit.

Rae D. Landy arrives in Jerusalem

February 2, 1913

Born in Lithuania, Rae D. Landy graduated with the first class of nursing students in Cleveland, OH. She went on to work in Jerusalem with Hadassah and later the United States Army Nurse Corps.

Henrietta Szold: travel and transformation

Today Henrietta Szold would have been 150 years old.  Exactly 75 years ago today, her birthday was celebrated by Zionists throughout the U.S.  There was a national radio address, parties hosted by local Hadassah chapters, and Shabbat sermons dedicated to her all over the country.  To read more about this remarkable event, visit This Week in History.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Henrietta Szold." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/9958>.

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