Inside Hadassah: On Mayors and Myriad Missions
Winter’s chill is in the air, but this month’s Israel travel issue will warm our hearts. The poet Yehuda Amichai put it this way: “All the generations before me/ donated me, bit by bit, so that I’d be/ erected all at once/ here in Jerusalem, like a house of prayer/ or charitable institution./ It binds.” a Through our missions we can bind ourselves to Israel, especially to our institutions in Jerusalem. Be there to dedicate our new Judaean Youth Hostel in March or join another mission of your choice. These are wonderful ways to build for ourselves and the generations to come. L’hitraot. —Ruth G. Cole
Check It Out®: Making History, Saving Lives
Hadassah women are making history once again. Dee Dee Goldstein (below, left) and Ann Eisenberg (right) were honored in October 2005 as Richmond History Makers in recognition of their efforts in raising breast- and testicular-health awareness among local high school and college students.
For the past nine years, the two women have cochaired Hadassah’s Check It Out® program in Richmond, Virginia. They lead a small team of volunteers who provide training in self-examination to encourage young people to familiarize themselves with their bodies.
“This is my mission in life,” Goldstein recently told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “It’s important to educate kids.”
There are at least two known instances where the education they provided enabled young people to get early treatment that may have saved their lives.
Both women are past presidents of the Richmond chapter of Hadassah. Goldstein has been involved in Hadassah for over 56 years. Richmond History Makers is a new program launched by Richmond’s Valentine History Center, intended to annually recognize and celebrate everyday citizens and outstanding organizations that are making significant contributions to the greater Richmond region.
Scheduling Time for Entrepreneurship
The security division of the Police Department of the Old City of Jerusalem, Magen David Adom and Jerusalem’s local court system are all benefiting from software developed by a recent graduate of Hadassah College Jerusalem. Gilad Mandel, together with Shlomit Dayan, created a program that allows employers to arrange employee shifts optimally, enabling changes to be made easily and making allowances for personal requests. Mandel worked on the program as part of his final project in the Department of Computer Science at HCJ and feels that the assignment was an invaluable and very important part of his hands-on education. He is currently working with a start-up company in Israel to further market his product to a wider industry base.
Mandel’s program is just one example of the applicability and high quality of HCJ students’ work that is making a difference in Israel and around the world.
This year, 17 students have come to Israel to earn their master’s degrees in public health at Hadassah–Hebrew University Medical Center’s Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem. The new students hail from the Republic of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Russia, Australia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Canada, Germany and the United States.
As Israel’s only school of public health, Braun carries out diverse functions including education, research and health care delivery, as well as serving as an important resource for local, national and international agencies. Graduates of the program have gone on to work in all areas of public health in some 70 countries worldwide.
Two California mayors give credit to Hadassah for their advancement in public office.
Beth Krom (top, left) has served as mayor of Irvine, California, since 2004, after two terms on the city council. Originally from upstate New York, she joined Hadassah as a newlywed in Waco, Texas. She helped found the Irvine Kadima chapter in 1988. Krom also established a home-based freelance business, All Things Creative, in 1997.
“I give credit to Hadassah for giving me a place, when my kids were young, to invest my energies and talents,” she says. “Hadassah’s been a very positive influence in my life.”
Mayor Abbe Land (left), of West Hollywood, California, was a city council member for over 10 years prior to her current office, during which time she worked as a field consultant for Hadassah, doing outreach to bring in new members. Her work with dedicated volunteers inspired her. “The women I worked with on a daily basis [at Hadassah] served as a model for what women can do and the power of women to make change,” she says. “They showed me the importance of knowing what you stand for.”
Land is also the cochief executive officer for the Los Angeles Free Clinic, the oldest continuously operating free medical clinic in the country.
Flash Forward: Help Is on the Way
Dr. Avi Rivkind, head of surgery and trauma at Hadassah–Hebrew University Medical Center at Ein Kerem, had a dream: digital cameras installed in ambulances to snap photographs of accident scenes and transmit them to the shock-trauma unit in the emergency room. This would give doctors advance warning of the nature and extent of patients’ injuries and help determine how best to treat the problems.
When Dr. Rivkind outlined his vision to participants of Hadassah’s Israel, Zionist and International Affairs (IZAIA) Mission last year, he was not expecting his dream to become a reality so soon. But mission participants Barry and Rachel Kleiner, Holocaust survivors from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, stepped forward and literally handed the doctor a wad of cash. “Buy them,” Barry urged. “Please don’t wait.”
Hadassah’s trauma unit purchased the cameras and presented them to Magen David Adom in Jerusalem, whose emergency response crews and ambulance teams are responsible for evacuation of the wounded.
The photo system is garnering admiration and praise from major trauma centers around the world, and Dr. Rivkind says it is helping his unit be more effective in treating patients.
Your Mission—Choose to Accept It
There are so many options and opportunities to visit Israel today. But why spend hours doing research and planning your “perfect trip” when you can leave the details in the hands of experts? Hadassah knows Israel better than anyone and has a unique vantage point of the country and access to many special places and people there. a “We offer what other missions cannot because we have unique connections in Israel,” explains Annette Meskin, Hadassah missions chair. “We’re very flexible and are happy to change our itineraries based on what’s going on in the country.” Hadassah’s activities and interests in Israel are so broad that it offers a mission for everyone. Whether you’re traveling alone or as a couple, with friends or family, there’s a trip that will enthrall you.
A weeklong mission, from February 16 to 24, is tailor-made for professional women. Tour the country and meet your Israeli counterparts working in your field.
Two Hadassah missions will head to Israel in March, in time to celebrate Purim there. From March 12 to 20, participants in the Renaissance XXIII Mission will have the opportunity to celebrate Hadassah’s 94th birthday in Israel. The Judaean Youth Hostel Dedication Mission itinerary includes a gala ceremony at the brand new Masuah facility, overlooking the Judean Hills. This trip, from March 12 to 19, also coincides with a Young Judaea Alumni reunion.
What better place to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day in May than in the country itself. Feel firsthand the excitement of 58 years of statehood on Hadassah’s Independence Day Mission, April 30 to May 8.
While most of Hadassah’s missions focus exclusively on Israel, Renaissance XXV (May 14 to 25) will also include travel in Poland. Participants will see the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau, and will visit sites in Warsaw and Krakow, learning about 700 years of Jewish heritage in that country. From Poland, travel to Israel and witness the unbelievable achievements and accomplishments of the Jewish state.
Also in May is the Hadassah College Jerusalem Mission to Israel (May 17 to 25), where visitors will attend an education miniconference with American and Israeli leaders, meet with the college’s faculty and students and attend the HCJ graduation ceremonies.
Finally, take the kids on a trip they’ll never forget with Hadassah’s most popular mission, the Renaissance Family Tour, this year from June 20 to 30. Experience Israel with your immediate family as well as your extended Hadassah family. The itinerary includes activities for children and adults alike and the opportunity to celebrate a bar or bat mitzva under the famous Chagall windows at the Abbell Synagogue in Ein Kerem.
The best thing about hadassah’s missions is that we show people Israel the way it really is,” says Meskin. “We visit people’s homes. We explore serious issues facing Israel today; we share in their music. We have fun.”
For further information about any of Hadassah’s missions, contact 800-363-2373 or e-mail email@example.com.