Szold, Henrietta

Szold, Henrietta

(zōld), 1860–1945, American Zionist leader, editor, and translator, b. Baltimore. After graduating from high school in 1877 she taught (1878–92) in private schools, organizing some of the first night school classes for immigrants. She was a founder (1888) of the Jewish Publication Society of America and served as its general editor until 1916. In 1912 she founded HadassahHadassah,
women's Zionist organization of the United States founded (1912) by Henrietta Szold. It has done important work in Israel in medical service, child welfare, and aid to refugees. Hadassah provides major support for the medical school of Hebrew Univ.
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, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, of which she was president from 1912 to 1926. In 1920 she moved to Palestine, directing the organization's medical service and relief work. She is particularly esteemed for her leadership (1933–45) of the Youth Aliyah, an organization that rehabilitated thousands of children during World War II. She also translated many works from French, German, and Hebrew.

Bibliography

See biography by I. Fineman (1960).

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Szold, Henrietta

(1860–1945) educator, reformer, Zionist leader; born in Baltimore, Md. (daughter of Benjamin Szold). Raised by her father to speak several languages, she graduated from a Baltimore high school and then taught for almost 15 years at a private academy for girls in that city while also teaching in her father's synagogue. She also became active in assisting the integration of Jewish immigrants into the U.S.A. and organized a night school to help them become "Americanized" (1889–98). Using the pen name "Sulamith," she contributed articles to the Jewish Messenger in New York City. She was editor of the Jewish Publication Society (1893–1916) and the most active editor of the American Jewish Year Book (1904–08). After her father died, in 1903 she and her mother moved to New York City where she continued as an editor. Disappointed in love, she took a trip abroad and visited Palestine (1910) and from then on was devoted to Zionism in general—the settling of Jews in Palestine—and in particular to improving the health of the inhabitants of Palestine. She had been a member of a Zionist society in Baltimore since 1893, but now she organized and became first president of the national Hadassah (1912–26); she would become the first woman member of the Palestine Zionist executive of the World Zionist Organization (1927). She spent many of the years between 1920–45 in Palestine or in traveling to Europe to facilitate the immigration of Jews, especially those faced with the growing menace of the Nazis. She continued her activities into her eighties; the recipient of countless honors, none was more significant than "mother of the Yishuv," referring to the Jewish settlement of Palestine. Although an ardent Zionist, she always hoped to foster friendly relations between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.