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Corporate Governance and Committees Records in the Hadassah Archives

Identifier: I-578/RG 12

Scope and Content Note

This record group holds the Hadassah records focusing on the governance and structure of Hadassah, as well as documenting its national board, Executive Committee, and other committees that ran its activities and projects, from the founding of Hadassah in 1912 up to 2012. The record group is mostly made up of meeting minutes, constitutions, correspondence, flyers, reports, manuals, legal contracts, and agreements with its projects (mostly in Israel), materials related to the celebration of significant Hadassah anniversaries and subject files related to its national board members and constitutional and procedural issues.


  • 1912-2012


Language of Materials

The record group is in English and some Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except meeting minutes found in Box 50, which are restricted due to privacy concerns.

Additionally, minutes after 2000 are restricted.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Historical Note <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Hadassah National Board, circa 1964" href="" show="embed" title="Hadassah National Board, circa 1964"/>

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold. Hadassah’s first convention was held in 1914. As early as 1918, Hadassah was governed by a Central Committee, which met until 1921. Hadassah’s first Constitution was adopted at the 8th National Convention in Pittsburgh in November 1921. On December 5, 1921, the first meeting of the National Executive Board of Hadassah was held at Rose Jacobs' home with many founding members of Hadassah, including Alice Seligsberg, Ruth B. Fromenson, Gertrude Rosenblatt, Lotta Levensohn, and Henrietta Szold. During its early years, the Executive Committee was made up of officers of Hadassah (the President, Vice Presidents, a Secretary, Recording Secretary, and a Treasurer) and appointed members of the national board. The duty of the Executive Committee was to transact business of the organization between National Board meetings. The national board consisted of members elected at the annual convention, regional presidents, and chairmen of standing committees. The national board’s role was to decide policy and initiate and run programs in Palestine/Israel, as well as elect the officers of Hadassah. Over time, the national board expanded its membership to Honorary Vice Presidents (Past National Presidents), members of the Honorary Council, presidents of Hadassah regions and big chapters, thirty-three elected members located within 250 miles of the National Office in New York (known as the Greater Metropolitan Area Board), thirty-three elected members located out of the Greater Metropolitan area, and members elected with “specific duties” (known as co-opted members). Throughout the years, the National President created ad-hoc and standing committees as needed. However, as the organizational structure of Hadassah’s national office evolved from committees to departments and divisions in the 1980s, most of this business came to be conducted within departmental meetings.

A more detailed history of Hadassah's administration can be found in Marlin Levin's book, It Takes a Dream: The Story of Hadassah.


45 Linear Feet (54 manuscript boxes, 5 photograph boxes, 103 bound volumes, and 1 oversized folder)


This record group documents the work of the Hadassah national board through board and executive committee meeting minutes, board member subject files, correspondence and reports, as well as minutes and materials generated by Hadassah ad-hoc and non-Executive committees, from 1912-2012. This record group also includes files from milestone anniversaries of Hadassah and legal documents pertaining to its projects.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Previous Finding Aids and Concordance

This finding aid is derived from four Word document container lists created by Hadassah archivists. Each document represents the series in the record group. The concordance links the former record group, series, box, and folder for RG 12 from the original container lists to the current box and folder numbers in the 2015 finding aid. The concordance is provided for reference and can be used to track previous citations of material. The concordance can be found here:

The original finding aids for RG 12 and 16 were never made publically available. AJHS can provide a copy if needed.

Acquisition Information

The Hadassah Archives, of which the Hadassah Corporate Governance and Committees Records (RG 12) are a part, are on long-term deposit at the American Jewish Historical Society.


The Hadassah Archives include a record group comprised of microfilm (RG 19). Series I, Subseries 5 contains microfilm of board minutes.

Related Material

The Guide to the Hadassah Archives on Long-term Deposit at the American Jewish Historical Society, which describes the entire collection, can found here:

Within the Hadassah Archives, materials related to corporate governance and the administration of Hadassah can be found in RG 3—Annual and Midwinter National Conventions; RG 13—Executive Functions Records; RG 15—Functions and Operations Records; RG 18—Photographs; RG 19—Microforms; RG 25—Audio and Moving Images Materials

Separated Material

Nine floppy disks containing town hall meeting minutes from 2003 were imaged and separated to the AJHS audiovisual collection. Images were put on AJHS secure server space.

Processing Information

Throughout the 2000s, Susan Woodland and other archivists processed and created inventories of portions of this record group. During this time, portions of the record group were transferred from RG 4 (Zionist Political History), RG 11 (General), and RG 17 (Pamphlets) to RG 12.

RG 12 (Corporate Governance, Documentation and Structure) was broken down into the following series: Surveys, Analysis, Outside Reports; Legal; and National Board Members.

In 2014, under a new agreement between Hadassah and AJHS, the Hadassah Archives were placed on long-term deposit at AJHS.

In October 2015, the collection was reprocessed and intellectually rearranged. Minutes, subject files related to individual board members, and administrative materials related to the national board were made into its one series (Series I). Anniversaries material found in the original surveys series can now be found in Series II. The legal series was maintained as Series III.

Additionally, RG 16 (Other Committees) was added to this record group and combined with non-executive committees materials in the original surveys series as Series IV.

Overall, the boxes were consolidated to save space and reduce damage to the material. Container lists from the previous guides and inventories were reused and incorporated into the 2015 finding aid as much as possible. All collection, series, and subseries level description was written in 2015. Boxes and folder numbers were renumbered to create uniform numbering across the entire record group. Some boxes were replaced and nonarchival folders were also replaced. Plastic clips and deteriorating plastic sleeves were removed. In general, folder titles were not rewritten, and reflect the original arrangement and description of the record group. 0.25 linear feet of bills and receipts related to the Hadassah National President apartment located at 58 W. 58th Street were removed from the record group. A concordance documenting the transfer of materials into the record group and their original box numbers (if known) can be found here:

Guide to the Corporate Governance and Committees Records in the Hadassah Archives 1912-2012 I-578/RG 12
The finding aid was prepared by Nicole Greenhouse in 2015.
© 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States