50 Influential Jews: Global Medical Leaders - No. 46

Leading Sheba and Hadassah, Yoel Har-Even and Rhoda Smolow have pushed Israel to the forefront of medicine, healthcare innovation, and tikkun olam.

 Rhoda Smolow and Yoel Har-Even. (photo credit: Courtesy, SHEBA GLOBAL)
Rhoda Smolow and Yoel Har-Even.
(photo credit: Courtesy, SHEBA GLOBAL)

On both sides of the ocean, two leaders are forging ties for Israel’s medical community in different but equally powerful ways. Their efforts have helped propel Israel to the forefront as a global pioneer not only in medicine but also in the realms of tikkun olam and innovation.

No. 45: Prof. Polina Stepensky, Prof. Michal Schwartz, and Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay >>

No. 47: William Daroff, Yonathan Arfi, Marie van der Zyl OBE, Steven Shulman, and Josef Schuster >>

Full list >>

Yoel Har-Even

Director, Sheba Global 

In his capacity as director of Sheba Global, Yoel Har-Even, has played a pivotal role in transforming Israel’s largest hospital into a global powerhouse. Over the past two years, he has been the driving force behind several of Sheba Medical Center’s most significant achievements. 

In 2022, Har-Even took the lead in establishing a field hospital in Ukraine, where more than 6,000 Ukrainian citizens received vital medical care. Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Har-Even has forged close relationships in the Gulf region, welcoming delegations to Sheba from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, as well as from countries with which Israel does not yet have ties. In the past three years, Sheba has signed more collaborative agreements with Gulf states than any other Israeli hospital.

In addition to his role on the hospital’s administrative team, Har-Even is a distinguished medical professional with 26 years of service in the IDF, including roles as a combat paramedic and assistant to the surgeon general. Most recently, he earned his PhD in business administration from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where his research focused on analyzing the performance outcomes of large health management systems, with a particular emphasis on developing models for healthcare delivery.

“I am proud to be included in this most distinguished listing,” Har-Evan told The Jerusalem Post. “Choosing me is in fact a vote of confidence in Sheba Medical Center and the extensive activity carried out by Sheba Global. Medical diplomacy is Sheba Medical Center’s way of carrying out tikkun olam.”

Rhoda Smolow

27th National President of Hadassah 

Rhoda Smolow’s journey through Hadassah exemplifies her dedication to its mission. As the National President of an organization with nearly 300,000 members representing every Congressional district across 700 chapters in the US, Smolow has been instrumental in steering the organization toward its goals. Her involvement in Hadassah began with her role as the Nassau Region president, National Presidential Development co-chair, National Organization Department chair, national secretary, followed by her ascent to national vice president, and as an elected member of the National Board. Beyond her national contributions, she played essential roles in Celebration 2018, the National Strategic Planning Committee, and the Blue Print Geographic Training Program, to name a few.

Under Smolow’s leadership, Hadassah has focused on critical areas, including advocating for Israel and the Jewish people, ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism, and promoting Israel’s centrality in Jewish life. The organization’s healthcare initiatives, notably the Hadassah Medical Organization’s two Jerusalem hospitals, offer exemplary local care and support world-renowned medical research.

Hadassah also champions women’s health, women’s empowerment, raises awareness of infertility challenges, supports youth through Young Judaea and Youth Aliyah programs, fosters a cultural and spiritual connection to Israel via its travel program and instills Jewish values in future generations.