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Audio and Moving Images Materials in the Hadassah Archives

Identifier: I-578/RG 25

Scope and Content Note

This record group is made up of mostly audio and moving images materials, including ¼-inch open audio reels, 16mm film, filmstrips, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, LPs, 3.5 inch floppy disks, and other media, dating from the 1920s up to 2010. The materials document Hadassah's varied efforts of raising awareness of its projects in the United States and Israel, including video and audio related to Hadassah Medical Organization hospitals and doctors, Youth Aliyah children's villages and other projects, Young Judaea camps, Women's Health projects, and other events. These materials were either used to increase membership in Hadassah, fundraise, or for use during a national or chapter meeting to educate and excite Hadassah members.

Additionally audio and moving images were also used to document important proceedings of Hadassah. The majority of this record group is made up of recordings of Midwinter conferences, National Conventions, and other meetings, where most of the organization's important business was transacted, financial updates were given in the Treasurer's report, awards were given out to Hadassah leaders and in the Zionist community in general, and different departments and projects reported on their achievements for the year. The first convention to be recorded was the 40th Annual Convention in 1954, but the organization did not start consistently recording its conventions until the 1970s. Other proceedings documented through audio and film include meetings from the Organization department, Education department, training sessions for different Hadassah initiatives, and Hadassah Magazine.

Other materials trace Hadassah history through digitized images, film, and audio recordings of speeches and interviews with chapter leaders, national presidents, national board members, Hadassah hospital doctors and nurses, and other Zionist leaders.

CDs and floppy disks also contain file formats outside of the scope of moving image and audio, including Word documents, spreadsheets, images, pdfs, powerpoints, and other applications.


  • 1920s-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 2010


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and 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 items that are restricted due to privacy concerns.

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

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold. Over the past century, the organization has engaged hundreds of thousands of American Jewish women in the Zionist project. Two nurses sent to Jerusalem in 1913 grew into a network of hospitals, clinics, health stations, public health initiatives and school-based programs that represent key segments of Israel’s health system. In addition to health care, Hadassah has also supported other projects in Palestine and later Israel, primarily focused on education and children.

To publicize and raise awareness of Hadassah projects, different departments of the national office produced films, filmstrips, and audio advertisements on Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah Israel Education Services, and Youth Aliyah projects, and Young Judaea camps. Most of the films, film strips, and advertising were produced by the Film and Publicity Departments.

The Publicity Department was established in 1926, which aimed to disseminate knowledge of Hadassah and its work through press and organization literature. In the 1940s, the Film Department was established, followed by Visual Aids Department in 1950. By 1951, the Publicity and Publications Department had changed its name to the Publicity and Promotion Department. In 1953, the Promotion Department was formed and Publicity became the Public Relations Department. During that time, the Public Relations department was responsible for press and periodicals at Hadassah events and to the Jewish press, radio and television spots and features, Hadassah films, press releases, and publicity kits. In 1960, the Public Relations Department became the Press-Radio-TV Department. By 1983, the Communications Division was established and contained the Hadassah Magazine; Press-Radio-TV; Program Films, Picture Archives; Promotion; Tourism; and Visual Aids and Exhibits Departments.

The Program department was established in 1934 in response to requests by members for scripts and other special occasion programming materials to the Education Committee. The role of the department was primarily to prepare scripts, ceremonials, speeches for chapter officers, slideshows, propaganda, and holiday materials for chapters and groups. They also conducted national programs for regions and big chapters, created television spots, and developed special material to respond to events in Israel. Programs were often used during a portion of a membership or fundraising event, incorporated or overlapped with an education presentation, or followed the business portion of a general meeting. In 1973, the Program Department merged with the Film Department. By the 1990s, publicity materials were produced by the Creative Services department. Many of the films were produced by Hazel Greenwald, who was the chairman of the Film Department for 18 years.


26.2 Linear Feet (19 audiocassette boxes, 7 record cartons, 4 11 inch boxes, 4 manuscript boxes, 2 SB1 boxes, 2 LS boxes, 2 OS5 boxes, 1 OS2 box, and 1 LP box)


This record group is made up of mostly audio and moving images materials, including ¼-inch open audio reels, 16mm film, filmstrips, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, LPs, 3.5 inch floppy disks, and other media, dating from the 1920s up to 2010. The films and audio recordings document Hadassah's efforts to publicize themselves to their members and those outside of Hadassah, by raising awareness of their history, fundraising efforts, and projects in United States and Israel, especially the Hadassah Medical Organization and Youth Aliyah projects and programs. Hadassah also used recordings to document important proceedings, including departmental and board meetings, Midwinter Conferences, and National Conventions.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Other Finding Aid

A portion of this finding aid was derived from a Word document created by previous Hadassah archivists. During the course of processing, a detailed inventory was created including original box numbers, technical metadata, and other information about the materials in the record group. The full inventory spreadsheet can be found here:

Acquisition Information

The Hadassah Archives, of which the Audio and Moving Images Materials (RG 25) are a part, are on long-term deposit at the American Jewish Historical Society.

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 this record group can be found in the following record groups: RG 1—Youth Aliyah, RG 2—Hadassah Medical Organization, RG 3—Annual and Midwinter National Conventions, RG 5—Hadassah Council in Israel and the Hadassah Youth Services, RG 8—Young Judaea, RG 9—Jewish National Fund, RG 12—Corporate Governance and Other Committees, RG 13—Executive Functions, RG 15—Operations and Functions, RG 20—Oral Histories, and RG 24—Chapters.

Separated Material

Select materials in the record group were separated from paper materials. Specific separation notes are included in the full inventory spreadsheet:

Processing Information

Throughout the 2000s, Susan Woodland and other archivists processed and created an inventory of this record group. During the processing of the Hadassah Archives from 2015-2016, audiovisual materials were found throughout processed and unprocessed materials and incorporated into RG 18. In 2016, CJH archivists working on the Hadassah Archives determined that non-photographic audiovisual materials would be separated and made into their record group, RG 25.

In general, each item in the record group was inventoried and given a unique identifier. During processing, the title, the date, format type, size, recording length, speed, condition, and any other additional information about the item was recorded. The full inventory spreadsheet can be found here:

Boxes were consolidated to save space. Container lists from the previous guides and inventories were reused and incorporated into the 2016 finding aid as much as possible. All collection and series level notes were written in 2016. In general, material titles were not rewritten. Duplicates were discarded.

In 2011, select films and audio recordings were digitized under grants from the Women's Film Preservation Fund of New York and the Metropolitan New York Library Council, respectively.

Guide to the Audio and Moving Images Materials in the Hadassah Archives 1920s-2010 I-578/RG 25
The finding aid was prepared by Nicole Greenhouse in 2016
© 2016
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