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Reshaping its Image

Hadassah reaches out to a younger audience and takes on new issues as Southern California gears up for its first national convention.

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/reshaping_its_image_20000714

Eighty-eight years after Henrietta Szold founded Hadassah in 1912, the 306,000-member Zionist and social service organization will gather in Los Angeles for its first national convention of the 21st century. From July 16-19, more than 2,500 leaders and guests will mingle at the Century Plaza Hotel, where speakers will range from actor Richard Dreyfuss to political commentators Mary Matalin and James Carville. Hadassah is the largest women's and Jewish group in the U.S., but president Bonnie Lipton admits membership is down from its high of more than 350,000 in the 1980s. More than half of current membership is over 61, so the group is working to reinvent itself and draw younger women. Besides its historic focus on health care in Israel, for example, the organization is now championing women's health in the U.S, among other issues.

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