Out of Hadassah Archives: Engaging History


By Susan Woodland

Numerous reference requests lately have asked how the building of the Hadassah Medical Center in the 1950s compares with the building of the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower today.


1950 – National Board members Rebecca Shulman (left) and Etta Rosensohn with early model of new medical center at Ein Kerem

Voluminous documentation—memos and other correspondence, articles and reports, statistical data and photographs—of the original planning and construction of the Ein Kerem campus exists in the archives. An artist’s drawing from the 1950s:

An article in the February 1958 issue of the Hadassah Newsletter gives an update on the construction of the round building, shown in a panorama taken on December 27, 1957:

“New photos of the medical center rapidly rising in Kiryat Hadassah were shown to the Mid-Winter Conference. On the left is the Medical School and on the right is the hospital. A ceremony marking the completion of the Nurses Training School will be held in the month of June during the forthcoming Hadassah Pilgrimage.”

The story continues into the present, with the construction of many buildings since 1960.

Hadassah’s mission has remained consistent throughout its 98-year history: support projects in Israel and educate members in the United States. This consistency makes it logical to research Hadassah history in the archives for information on earlier issues similar to those Hadassah is confronted with now.
In doing this research, discoveries are made—wonderful, surprising documents, visually rich photographs and interesting stories that can teach us something today.

It is the goal of this blog to make available in an informal online venue some of the stories, visual and intellectual, found in the Hadassah Archives, and which relate in some way to what is happening around us. Comments and questions are welcomed.

—Susan Woodland
Hadassah Archivist

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