WOMAN OF VALOR by Irving Fineman
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This biography of Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah (Women's Zionist Organization of America) is rich in detail and lovingly told. The story traces her life from a childhood in Baltimore of the 1860's until her death in Palestine in 1945. Miss Szold, the daughter of a rabbi, was an unusual woman, brilliant, scholarly and utterly devoted to the cause of Zionism. Although the book has many passages which may perhaps be of interest largely to Zionists and their adherents, there is also a great deal of material of general historical interest, as for example a detailed picture of early settlement days in Palestine, and of Miss Szold's vital role in helping build that country. The book is good source material on the far from unified thinking on the place and purpose of world Jewry. However, the essence of the book is Henrietta Szold herself; it is she who gives it the fascinating and dramatic qualities. She is revealed as a wise, strong-visioned woman, whose interests and passions lay beyond the normal range of women of her time, yet, as a woman she was vulnerable to love for a man (never identified by name), which almost broke her spirit. The account of her ordeal is beautifully and dramatically developed (and is based almost completely on her own recounting of those painful months). The book deserves a wide audience, beyond the built-in one of the Hadassah.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster