Hadassah Women’s Group Orders Jerusalem Hospital Chief to Stop Fundraising

The decision follows accusations that Rotstein was hurting Hadassah’s fundraising efforts and distancing donors

Zeev Rotstein, director general of Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.
Tomer Appelbaum

The Hadassah women’s group has ordered Hadassah Director General Prof. Zeev Rotstein to stop handling fundraising and leave it solely to the organization – although he has already been approved for a second term.

The New York-based Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America is the controlling owner of two Jerusalem hospitals: Hadassah University Hospital at Ein Karem and Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus.

The decision follows accusations that Rotstein was hurting Hadassah’s fundraising efforts and distancing donors. He was approved for another term as Hadassah’s director general last month.

A last-minute meeting held on Wednesday at the Finance Ministry showed the unprecedented level to which relations have sunk. It was urgently arranged to lower the flames and persuade the women from Hadassah not to veto the renewal of Rotstein’s term. The plan was to enable him to see the hospitals through a crucial phase of rehabilitation.

Treasury Director General Shai Babad, Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov, outgoing Hadassah President Ellen Hershkin and incoming President Rhoda Smolow attended the meeting. The latter two were in Israel for a several-day visit. Rotstein wasn’t at the meeting and did not meet with the two women, despite their request to do so.

The meeting ended with the decision that the Hadassah women’s organization would exclusively take care of the fundraising while Rotstein would handle the hospitals’ assets. Sources say the issue of continuing state support for the hospitals was raised, with a request to extend it beyond 2020, the target for the completion of the rehabilitation plan. The sources said that state representatives agreed to do so in principle, but no parameters were set.

In a sharply worded letter to Rotstein earlier this month, the Hadassah women’s group said he has sabotaged their efforts to raise funds and distanced donors “contrary to all logic.” Sources said that in closed-door meetings, Hadassah women say Rotstein tells donors that Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer is better than Hadassah’s.