Magazine article The American Enterprise

HILLARY, THE Un-IMA

Magazine article The American Enterprise

HILLARY, THE Un-IMA

Article excerpt

A computerized newspaper search for the word Hadassah is sadly revealing. The name of this once-thriving Zionist women's organization now turns up most often in obituaries. The organization's shrinking size and the demographic profile of its active members (more than half are over 61) have not escaped the notice of Hadassah's leadership. Expanding beyond their longstanding charitable work for medical and educational causes, the group's leaders have become increasingly involved in politics in hopes of attracting younger activists.

So at this year's annual convention, Hadassah honored Hillary Clinton with its highest award for her "work with children and families." Hadassah didn't pick the First Lady for rolling up her sleeves to help real children and families as Hadassah's founder, Henrietta Szold, had. (Szold helped drain malarial swamps and bring sanitation to Palestine; then singlehandedly organized the rescue of thousands of children from Germany in the years before the Holocaust.) Rather, Mrs. Clinton was selected as a symbol of the political causes Hadassah has come to support over the last 20 years.

Beginning with the Equal Rights Amendment in 1979, the organization has taken up causes its founders never imagined. It has lobbied to oppose school vouchers, block voluntary prayer in public schools, expand "hate crimes" legislation, widen gun controls, and, particularly, to remove restrictions on abortion. …

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