The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize

Application Deadline: Noon (NY EDT) on Monday, February 2, 2015

About The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize

The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize recognizes innovative contributions to advance the status of women and girls in Israel and the United States. It honors Bernice S. Tannenbaum for her lifetime of service to the Jewish People; the State of Israel; and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

The Hadassah Foundation seeks to reward emerging professionals who have demonstrated a high degree of talent, commitment, and accomplishment in their work to enhance the status of women and girls, and who anticipate continuing their careers in this field. The intent of the Prize is to make the field more effective by supporting the development of future leaders.

Current and past Hadassah Foundation grantees from Israel and the United States, as well as other organizations that serve Jewish girls and young women in the United States or who serve women in Israel, may nominate a staff person to receive this annual prize. There will be an award of up to $2,500, which the Prize recipient must use for professional development. In addition, there will be an award of $500 that may be used for general operating support.

The Prize carries forward The Hadassah Foundation’s mission to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. The Foundation is an investor in social change for girls and women, and supports other social change organizations and individuals who share our goals.

Nomination & Selection

The Board of Directors of The Hadassah Foundation, Inc. will select the winner and present the award at a special ceremony on June 8, 2015 in New York City. The winner is required to attend the ceremony; their travel and hotel expenses will be covered by the Foundation.


A candidate must be an active employee of an organization that serves Jewish girls and young women in the United States, or women in Israel, including current or past Hadassah Foundation grantees. The candidate must be in a relatively early stage (less than approximately 15 years of experience) of a career devoted to enhancing the status of women and girls, and demonstrate a commitment to continuing in this field.

The Hadassah Foundation is particularly interested in identifying candidates whose work focuses in one of the following areas:

* Helping American Jewish adolescent girls and young women build self-esteem, leadership ability, and make healthy life choices
* Helping American Jewish adolescent girls and women achieve economic security
* Helping low-income Israeli women achieve economic security

The Prize will be awarded based on the nominee’s contribution to the field to date, leadership potential, the merits of the candidate’s proposal for professional development, and the candidate’s potential to affect the field beyond the scope of the nominating organization.


Organizations that meet the criteria above, including current and past Hadassah Foundation grantees, may nominate a staff person.
Applications are due no later than Noon (NY EDT) on Monday, February 2, 2015.

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About Bernice S. Tannenbaum

Bernice S. Tannenbaum is a visionary leader. She served as National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America from 1976 to 1980. In the late 1990s she chaired the Strategic Planning Committee that proposed the creation of The Hadassah Foundation and she now serves as the National Board’s Liaison to The Hadassah Foundation.

During her extraordinary history of engagement with Hadassah, Bernice has played many critical roles. She was the creator of the concept adopted by Hadassah of “going global” and in 1983 became the Founder and first Chair of Hadassah International. Today, Bernice still plays an important role as a member of Hadassah’s International team.

Bernice was one of the founding members of the re-organized Board of Directors of the Hadassah Medical Organization. She served as Chair of the Hadassah Magazine. She also was in charge of managing the process of bringing Hadassah’s history into book format. The first edition of It Takes a Dream was published in 1997, and Bernice still manages its affairs.

Bernice headed Hadassah's successful campaign to achieve NGO consultative status in the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC.) In 1982, Bernice was elected to the Chairmanship of the World Zionist Organization, (American Section.) As WZO Chair, she also was the de facto Head of the U.S. Campaign (successfully concluded in 1991) to repudiate UN Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with Racism. She has been a delegate to all World Zionist Congresses since 1956. She is now an Honorary Fellow of the World Zionist Organization. In addition, she served as a member of Va'ad Hapoel (Zionist General Council), and has been an official delegate to the Board of Governors of the World Jewish Congress in countries around the world. She served as Vice-President of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), and was a member of the American Holocaust Commission.

Bernice also represented both Hadassah and the World Jewish Congress at the 1980 United Nations, Mid-Decade Conference for Women in Copenhagen, and at the 1985 United Nations, End-Decade Conference for Women in Nairobi. In 1992, she co-chaired the first International Conference in Jerusalem on the Empowerment of Jewish Women.

Hadassah honored Bernice by presenting her with its prestigious Henrietta Szold Award at its National Convention in New York in 2003. She also was selected as the inaugural recipient of Hadassah International’s Woman of Distinction Award in London, U.K.

Bernice earned a B.A. in English literature and art from Brooklyn College and taught in the New York City public high school system.

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