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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. Szold made history as the first woman to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary and helped edit and translate important Jewish writings through her work with the Jewish Publication Society. But it was her creation of Hadassah, the women’s charity devoted to aiding Israel, that stands as her greatest accomplishment. Szold oversaw organizing and fundraising efforts in America as well as the field hospitals in Palestine that the funding made possible. Through Hadassah, Szold set up food banks and nursing schools. Her organization of youth kibbutzim enabled thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany to start new lives in Palestine. And as a member of the early Zionist authority, Szold created the medical, educational, and social services infrastructure that helped turn the dream of a Jewish state into a workable reality.

Henrietta Szold, 1893
Full image
Henrietta Szold, 1893.
Courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Date of Birth
December 21, 1860
Place of Birth
Baltimore, Maryland
Date of Death
February 13, 1945

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Henrietta Szold." (Viewed on February 15, 2019) <>.


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