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Oral Histories Collection in the Hadassah Archives

Identifier: I-578/RG 20

Scope and Content Note

This collection of oral history interviews traces Hadassah history through the stories of its founders, board members, and community advocates that made the organization possible. Although each person interviewed made a significant contribution to Hadassah and its legacy, there are several individuals' histories that should be noted as significant to the overall value of this collection.

Fannie Cohen—member of the Honorary Council

Judith Epstein—former National President

Miriam Freund-Rosenthal—former National President

Judith Steiner-Freud—former Dean of the Hebrew University/Hadassah Henrietta Szold School of Nursing

Kalman J. Mann—former Director-General of the Hadassah Medical Organization

Several of the folders in this collection also contain short biographies of the individuals being interviewed as well as correspondence between the interviewer and the interviewee.

Series I consists of interviews (and transcripts of many of those interviews) conducted by Anna Tulin Elyachar. Many of these interviews are structured similarly, with Elyachar asking several broad questions to guide the interview. Topics discussed include a combination of their involvement with Hadassah and how their own personal histories (childhood, education, careers, and family) contributed to their involvement in the organization.

The individuals who appear in the recordings for Series II also discuss their involvement in Hadassah, with a focus on Hadassah Medical Organization-sponsored hospitals. This series also contains several corresponding transcripts.

The documents in Series III consist of background research and correspondence for the interviews in the previous series as well as guidelines for best practices.


  • 1927-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1990


Language of Materials

The collection is in English with 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 items that are restricted due to their fragility.

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

In the 1970s, Hadassah appointed Anna Tulin Elyachar as its National Audio-Visual Chairperson. She spearheaded a comprehensive project to record the personal and organizational histories of its founding and most influential members, many of whom were her personal friends. Due to her long-standing association with Hadassah and her friendships with its members, her interviews are insightful and robust.

As a young man, Hanns Winter was involved in the Youth Aliyah program at the Ahrensdorf Training Center in Germany. He later worked at the Geneva office of the Jewish Agency for Palestine/Israel Youth Aliyah Department and then later at Hitachduth Oleh Germania in Haifa. His interviews include discussions on both his time in Geneva and with Youth Aliyah.

The Mirah Yungman interviews were prepared for her book, Hadassah: American women Zionists and the rebirth of Israel.


2.25 Linear Feet (2 audio cassette boxes; 1 manuscript box; 1 half-manuscript box)


The Hadassah Oral Histories consist of audio cassette recordings and typed transcripts of oral history interviews as well as related correspondence and research documents. Interviewees include notable members of Hadassah’s National Board, the Honorary Council, Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), Youth Aliyah, Machon Szold, and Hebrew University, among others. Discussions cover such topics as Hadassah roles and achievements, Jewish upbringings, education, and family.


The audio cassette tapes and transcripts in this collection were originally housed separately by item type. This physical arrangement currently remains, with additional alphabetical and series reorganization. The current intellectual arrangement pairs corresponding transcripts with their audio interviews for ease of use and research.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

The Hadassah Archives, of which the Oral Histories (RG 20) 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:

Mirah Katsburg-Yungman's book Hadassah: American women Zionists and the rebirth of Israel was built upon several of the oral histories included in this collection and is available through the American Jewish Historical Society's monographs collection:

Previously digitized Hadassah-related oral history interviews can be found in RG 18:

Interview with Lotta Levensohn by Moshe (Marlin) Levin

Interview with Rose Halprin in Israel, by Moshe (Marlin) Levin

Additional background and documentation on the Hadassah Medical Organization can be found in RG 2:

A 2008 oral history of Charlotte Jacobson can be found in the American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection, I-548:

Processing Information

Original folders, folder titles, and organization were reused whenever possible. When re-housing did occur, all folder notations were maintained either by including a photocopied surrogate or by including any pertinent notations in a folder-level scope note. Folders were renamed to create a more standardized intellectual order.

All audio cassette tapes were re-housed into new archival boxes. Loose cassette tapes were individually re-housed into archival cases.

The audio cassettes belonging to the Mirah Yungman interview set were numerically labeled prior to processing. Please disregard these numbers in favor of the official collection labels on the outside of the audio cassette cases.

Several interview subjects appear in both series. Searching is recommended to researchers looking for specific names.

Any additional, translatable information written on the cassette tapes and/or folder notations was included as scope notes for future use.

Guide to the Oral Histories Collection in the Hadassah Archives 1927-2002 I-578/RG 20
Processed by Janine Veazue in May 2016
© 2012
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