Chair: Elliot Jager
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Dvora Hacohen, Bar-Ilan Professor of Jewish History, offers a penetrating insight into the dramatic life of Henrietta Szold, a remarkable woman who fought for women’s rights and the impoverished. From a young age Szold was driven by the concept of tikkun olam, to ‘repair the world’ and in 1912 she founded Hadassah, the international woman’s organisation dedicated to humanitarian work. A passionate Zionist, Szold was troubled by the Jewish–Arab conflict in Palestine, to which she sought a peaceful and equitable solution for all. And before anyone had heard of intersectionality, she maintained that her many political commitments were inseparable, fighting relentlessly for women’s place in Judaism and for health and educational networks in Mandate Palestine. Based on many previously unpublished letters and diaries, Hacohen offers a penetrating look into Szold’s personal world, revealing for the first time the psychogenic blindness that afflicted her as the result of a harrowing breakup with a famous Talmudic scholar.
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Dvora Hacohen is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Bar Ilan University, Israel. Her several books include the prizewinning The Children of the Time: Youth Aliyah, 1933–1948. She has received the Ben-Gurion Prize for her contributions to scholarship. Image cr. Sasson Tiram
Elliot Jager worked in the NYC government for 23 years while lecturing in politics at various universities. He is a former editorial page editor at The Jerusalem Post, edited the Jewish world pages at The Jerusalem Report, and was founding managing editor of Jewish Ideas Daily. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University in politics, an M.A. in international relations from NYU, and a B.A. in Judaic Studies from Brooklyn College.