June Walker z”l
June Walker served as Chairperson of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations from June 2007 to July 2008.
In July 2007, Ms. Walker completed her term of office as the National President of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. She described these four years as the embodiment of the teachings of Judaism, as she felt privileged to have led the vibrant organization of 300,000 women in performing acts of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Ms. Walker’s impressive history includes academic degrees in chemistry, respiratory therapy, and public health administration. She taught on the college level and was the director of In-Service Education for Pulmonary Medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. She was a member of the Citizens Committee for Bio-Medical Ethics, The American Red Cross, and The American Lung Association.
She was therefore a “natural” to assume her leadership role in Hadassah. Together with its National Leadership, Education and Training Center, she was a driving force in transforming the issue of stem cell research into a grassroots movement. She served on the Board of Directors of the Hadassah Medical Organization, where she diligently worked to improve healthcare within HMO and in Israel.
Ms. Walker also served as National Treasurer and a long-time member of Hadassah’s National Board. As Chair of the American Affairs/Domestic Policy Department, she campaigned for Representative Barbara Boxer’s Violence Against Women Act, launched educational programs on healthcare, brought Curriculum Watch into reality, and developed national participation for two marches for women’s rights in Washington, D.C. She conceived, wrote, and distributed The American Scene, a publication addressing women’s advocacy in the United States. Under her tenure, the Washington Action Office and a fully staffed National Department of Women’s Health were established.
While Chair of the Hadassah College Jerusalem (formerly the Hadassah College of Technology), the institution grew from six hundred to twenty-five hundred students. Ms. Walker’s academic guidance helped the college expand its offerings from two-year degrees to a wide range of bachelors’ and masters’ degrees. As of 2007, it is now a fully accredited academic institution, helping to meet Israel’s technology needs thorough various degree programs.
When asked about leading an organization of women, she said, “I am proud to be doing ‘woman’s work’ – constructing dams, building hospitals, saving children, educating young adults, reforesting the land and advocating in Washington, DC. That’s what I call the highest calling of women.”
With her husband, Ms. Walker had three children and six grandchildren and lived in New Jersey.