EPSTEIN, JUDITH (1895–1988), U.S. Hadassah leader. Epstein was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. She became involved in Jewish communal activity while at Hunter College, from which she graduated in 1916. Epstein served Hadassah in many capacities from 1928 when she was national secretary. She was chairman of various national departments, including membership and Zionist public relations, and was editor of Hadassah Magazine. Named vice president in 1934, Epstein served as national president of Hadassah during 1937–39 and 1943–47. From 1947 she was an honorary vice president. She traveled to virtually every Jewish community in the country, and for many years she played a prominent role at sessions of the Zionist General Council in the United States and abroad.
Dedicated to the needs and the future of the Jewish state, Epstein was largely responsible for funding the Rothschild-Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem.
During her lifetime, she was an ardent advocate for young women. In her name and to honor her legacy, the Judith Epstein Memorial Award was created in 1991 to recognize the achievements of National Young Leaders Advisory Council (NYLAC) representatives, who are responsible for initiating activities and events that will bring visibility to Hadassah as well as bringing other young women into the organization. Each year the award is presented to a young leader whose community project was the most successful in promoting Hadassah in a meaningful way.
[Gladys Rosen /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.