Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, announced on Tuesday that Suzanne Patt Benvenisti has joined Hadassah’s Israel Offices as Deputy Executive Director. Reporting to Executive Director Audrey Shimron, she will represent Hadassah’s interests in Israel and oversee the staff of fundraising and other professionals. In January, she will become Executive Director when Shimron, one of the most highly valued members of Hadassah’s leadership team, becomes Executive Director Emeritus after 40 years at the movement.
"Patt Benvenisti will work closely with Prof. Yoram Weiss, MD, Director General of the Hadassah Medical Organization, and former Speaker of the Knesset Dalia Itzik, Chair of its board, to elevate the Jerusalem medical center’s reputation in Israel and around the world," a press release on behalf of Hadassa said. In addition, she will represent the interests of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, before the Israeli government, which oversees and helps support public hospitals in Israel. She will also work with the organization’s youth villages, which provide wraparound services for at-risk Israeli teens; build and strengthen partnerships with other Jewish organizations in Israel; and oversee the ongoing collaboration between the organization’s Israel and American philanthropy teams.
Patt Benvenisti’s background includes work in social and health care policy, child welfare, youth programs and nonprofit management. Before joining Hadassah, she spent 10 years at Jerusalem’s Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, most recently as Director General. She played a key role in doubling the Center’s budget and staff and increasing the reach and impact of the Center’s research on social policy and philanthropy in Israel. She oversaw the launch of the Center’s early childhood initiative and the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan.
Patt Benvenisti, who was born in the US and made aliyah in 2011, previously served as the director of public policy at Aetna. She has worked in development for Homes for the Homeless in New York City, the Israel Scouts in Tel Aviv and has consulted on strategic and operations planning for the Community Partnership for Protecting Children in Portland, Maine. With her husband, she spent a year volunteering at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, which provides a home for children orphaned by the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. The village is modeled on Israel’s youth villages, two of which Hadassah operates and which were originally built for the children of Holocaust victims.
How Benvenisti's knowledge in the healthcare field will benefit her at Hadassah
“Suzie’s knowledge of Israel’s health care sector gives her invaluable insight into the issues Hadassah’s hospitals face.”Rhoda Smolow, Hadassah National President
“Suzie’s knowledge of Israel’s health care sector gives her invaluable insight into the issues Hadassah’s hospitals face,” said Rhoda Smolow, Hadassah National President. “That insight, combined with her leadership skills, myriad achievements and experience in all areas of nonprofit administration, ensures that she will be an excellent representative of Hadassah, a true partner for our hospitals’ leadership and an exceptional manager.”"Suzie is fortunate to have a strong and experienced senior leadership team in Israel," Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler added and said that "among them is the philanthropic team that does an excellent job leading the philanthropic effort of the Israeli office, without which our hospitals would not be able to provide the exceptional care they are known for."
"This multifaceted position gives me the opportunity to bring together many aspects of my personal and professional background and to put into practice everything I have learned in my previous roles," Patt Benvenisti said. She added that “There is no place I would rather do that than at Hadassah, an organization at the forefront of health care innovation in Israel and a place to which I and my family have such a strong personal connection.”