Rose Gell Jacobs led Hadassah through the early days of WWII, overseeing the organization’s shift from creating medical services in Palestine to rescuing thousands of Jews from war-torn Europe. Jacobs taught public school before becoming a founding member of Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization. She created chapters in Georgia, Tennessee, and Washington, DC, and edited the Hadassah News Bulletin. In 1920 she was named vice president but served as acting president from 1920–1923 while Henrietta Szold, the founding president, was in Palestine. Jacobs later served two official terms as president from 1930–1932 and 1934–1937. During her second term, membership wanted to refocus Hadassah’s mission to assist Jews in Nazi Germany. Jacobs chose to back Szold’s Youth Aliyah program and incorporate it fully into Hadassah, giving the program the funding and attention that would save thousands over the course of the war. In the late 1930s she chaired the Committee for the Study of Arab-Jewish Relations, which gathered experts to find ways to alleviate tensions in Palestine. She also organized the Hadassah Emergency Committee in Palestine in 1940 to supervise the organization’s local work during the war years.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Gell Jacobs." (Viewed on December 10, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/jacobs-rose>.