Hadassah members from throughout the Southeast will converge on Atlanta as the city plays host to this year’s Tri-Region Hadassah Conference at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel. This will be the first time Hadassah Super South regional members have gotten together for an in-person conference since the pandemic.
More than 100 participants from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee will participate in a weekend filled with education, advocacy and socializing, organized around the theme “Hadassah OUT LOUD, Raising Our Voices TOGETHER.”
Linda Hakerem, Jill Weinstein and Diane Bisgaier are this year’s co-chairs for the conference, which begins Friday, Sept. 9, and runs through Sunday, Sept., 11. National and regional leaders from the Southern, Southeastern and Southern Seaboard Regions will be in attendance and lead sessions on a myriad of topics, including women’s health equity, leadership and advocacy strategies.
“With members in every Congressional district in the country, Hadassah can educate its members and utilize their advocacy skills to reach out to policymakers at the local, state and national level on critical issues affecting Israel, women’s health, antisemitism and more,” said Marci Abrams-Feinstein, president of Hadassah Greater Atlanta, the chapter host for this year’s conference.
“It is an important responsibility, and we in Atlanta are proud to be the host chapter for this timely conference. We will be raising our voices with passion, pride and purpose.”
At the top of the agenda for the weekend is the fight for the right of women to make their own healthcare choices. In light of the recent Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, 27th National President Rhoda Smolow will lead a panel discussion with medical experts on the unique health needs of women. National Grassroots Advocacy Director Lauren Katz will also conduct a separate, in-depth session on successful advocacy skills.
“Hadassah is committed to full and complete access to reproductive health services and a woman’s right to make decisions for herself based on her own religious, moral and ethical values,” said Smolow. “At ‘Hadassah OUT LOUD,’ we will raise the voices of Hadassah members from nine southern and southeastern states as we affirm our support for reproductive choice and the role it plays in women’s empowerment, economic equity and security.”
Award-winning author Melissa Fay Greene, who wrote “The Temple Bombing,” will discuss the alarming rise of antisemitism across the nation and offer her perspective on the permeating phenomena of hate in both the era of 1958 Atlanta and today. Atlantans Alana Frank, founder of the Jewish Fertility Foundation, and Karen Grinzaid of JScreen will be on hand with Hadassah’s Lauren Katz and others to discuss the organization’s mission to raise awareness about infertility and their fight for access to quality, affordable diagnosis and treatment.
“One in eight couples in the United States report infertility issues — and rates are even higher in the Jewish community, with as many as one in six couples affected. Hadassah is at the forefront of the conversation pushing for Congressional action to raise awareness about infertility and the need for quality, affordable diagnosis and treatment,” Katz said.
Additional sessions will continue throughout Saturday and Sunday, focusing on topics of particular interest to members — from building bridges with community organizations to support of Israel. A panel discussion with members of other faith-based groups will focus on how to advance common goals by developing intercommunity relationships. Atlanta Jewish leaders Lois Frank and Judy Marx will join Sucheta Kamath, founder and CEO of ExQ, and the Reverend Natosha Reid Rice of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Habitat for Humanity International, during this informative session.
“Evolving Zionism” will feature Valerie Chambers, campus director of Kennesaw State University Hillel; Jenn Handel, director of Israel Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Julie Katz, associate director of the American Jewish Committee Atlanta. The session will be moderated by Samantha von Ende, director of academic affairs, Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast U.S.
The panel will explore what Israel means to the next generation of Jewish women during a time of challenging conversations around Zionism. Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeastern U.S., will help close out the weekend and will be followed by a moment of prayer and reflection on Sunday, Sept. 11, to commemorate those lost on 9/11.
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is a 109-year-old organization with more than 270,000 members across the country, including 15,000 in the 12 Southern states represented by the Super South region.
Hadassah members are dedicated to supporting medical research, treatment and awareness at Hadassah Medical Organization hospitals and medical campuses in Jerusalem, as well as advocating for women’s health equity, reproductive rights, access to affordable fertilization treatment, U.S.-Israel medical partnerships and combatting antisemitism in the U.S. Since its inception, the organization has promoted leadership skills that prepare women to take on important roles in their chapters and communities.
- Debbie Diamond
- Tri-Region Hadassah Conference
- Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel
- Hadassah Super South
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- Hadassah OUT LOUD
- Linda Hakerem
- Jill Weinstein
- Diane Bisgaier
- Marci Abrams-Feinstein
- Roe v. Wade
- Supreme Court
- Rhoda Smolow
- National Grassroots Advocacy Director Lauren Katz
- Melissa Fay Greene
- The Temple bombing
- Alana Frank
- Jewish Fertility Foundation
- Karen Grinzaid
- All Saints’ Episcopal Church
- Habitat for Humanity International
- American Jewish Committee
- jewish federation of greater atlanta
- Kennesaw State University Hillel