It was founded in 1912 by American born Henrietta Szold, who was so deeply moved by witnessing the poverty and sickness in Jerusalem, that she founded a women's organization to provide medical aid.
The first two nurses arrived in 1913, followed by a full-scale medical team. The organization set up well-baby clinics and infirmaries and later hospitals were set up all over Israel. A nursing school, medical school, school of pharmacy, school for dentistry, school of public health and school of occupational therapy were established. While the volunteers of Hadassah worked to gather funds for this expanding health network, Hadassah's membership grew to hundreds of thousands of women in all fifty states of the United States.
From the beginning, all Hadassah institutions gave equal treatment to all, without regard for religion and race. Today, 90 years later, the policy of equality has remained a Hadassah creed.
Over the years, Hadassah turned over most of its clinics, infirmaries and most of its hospitals to the government as Israel's own health system developed. However, Hadassah retained its two flagship medical centers in Jerusalem: Hadassah Medical Organization in Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus.
These two medical centers set the standard for health care in Israel, providing compassionate care to patients from all backgrounds. Health care professionals from all over the world come to Jerusalem to learn innovative methods of dealing with public health challenges. At the same time, Hadassah researchers are dedicated to finding cures for world's most debilitating diseases.
Over the last decades, Hadassah affiliates have developed in 34 countries, (between them Israel), under the aegis of Hadassah-International. These men and women of all backgrounds help support medical and scientific research in Israel.
Together with the American-based organization, these benefactors are playing an important role in improving people's lives.
Founded by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, the Hadassah Medical Organization pioneered the development of standards and practices of health care in Israel.
Its main focus and its health care activities are in Jerusalem, and its heritage and emotional links are deeply rooted in the land of Israel and its people.
Hadassah Medical Organization is also a bridge to peace. It forges links between patients of all nationalities, races and religion who come to its doors for healing.
- Excellence in compassionate and advanced health care consistent with humane and cost- effective principles,
- Excellence in research by which the frontiers of medicine are advanced and mankind benefits.
- Excellence in teaching by which the future generations are assured of the highest quality of care and scholarship.