Hillary praises Jewish women

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WASHINGTON — First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton told Jewish groups this week that investing in the lives of women and girls is "one of the soundest investments any society can make."

"If women are healthy, educated, literate, safe from violence and able to contribute economically and politically, then they will flourish and their families will flourish," Clinton said.

"And if families flourish, then communities and nations do as well," she said in an address Monday to more than 1,100 women gathered for the United Jewish Appeal's national women's campaign Lion of Judah Conference.

A day earlier, the first lady addressed more than 2,000 people attending the annual dinner of the Chicago regional office of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

In each of her speeches, the first lady extolled the virtues of the organizations, linking their work to her advocacy of women's rights throughout the world.

Delivering a first-hand report of the recently concluded United Nations fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Clinton underscored the continuity between the goals of the international conference and the goals of Jewish women.