Intermountain Jewish News

Aug 01st

National Hadassah president speaks

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Marcie NatanExpect no sob stories from Marcie Natan.

That’s just not the way the national president of Hadassah rolls.

The top executive of the mammoth women’s Zionist organization might well have a handful of such stories — the nearly three years she has spent as president have been far from peaceful — but she prefers to regard them as challenges rather than problems.

She is not soft-peddling Hadassah’s issues.

Recent years have seen the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel — funded by philanthropy raised by mostly American Hadassah members — faced with crippling deficits, widespread labor strikes, media criticism and resistance from Israeli politicians so far unwilling, or politically unable, to help bail it out.

The organization has also yet to fully recover from significant losses caused by its investments with Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi schemer now serving life in prison.

Natan is far from undeterred by these challenges but insisted in an interview this week that she’s not only willing to fight for the organization but that she’s very gratified to be fighting these battles today, when Hadassah is facing some of the most daunting issues it has ever faced.

“I fought for the position,” she emphasizes when asked about how she came to be president in 2011.

An early childhood educator, she has raised a family, taught Hebrew and Sunday school and operated a small manufacturing business, which she eventually surrendered in favor of ever-increasing Hadassah obligations.

She has, in fact, been active with Hadassah for more than 40 years, starting with her leadership of her home chapter in Eastern Pennsylvania, leading to a host of national positions, including treasurer, vice president, secretary and chair of planned giving and estates.

Natan is an longtime friend of Denver Hadassah leader Sandra Schiff — “who I met holding up a wall at a Hadassah event many years ago” — and spent last weekend here, speaking to members of the Denver and LEA chapters, leaders of the Boulder and Colorado Springs chapters and headlining a community-wide event at Temple Sinai.

The rest of Chris Leppek's interview with Marcie Natan is available in the May 9, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our online e-Edition.


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