Inside Hadassah: Outreach Both Near and Far
In June, our thoughts turn to summer—travel, reading those books long postponed. My Hadassah colleagues and I will join delegates from around the world at the World Zionist Congress, Zionist General Council and Jewish Agency meetings in Jerusalem to address key issues in the Zionist movement. Then from July 23 to 26, we’ll be in Nashville, Tennessee, at Hadassah’s 92nd national convention to learn and be inspired by prominent speakers and newsmakers. We will pay tribute to Hadassah’s milestones and dreams fulfilled. So plan to recharge your spirit in Music City, U.S.A.
Bringing Medicine to the People
For many Arab women in Israel, cultural barriers, lack of education and a confusing network of health care providers are overwhelming obstacles in the way of seeking proper medical treatment. To address this problem, the Hadassah Medical Organization recently opened a women’s health clinic in Abu Ghosh, an Israeli Arab town six miles west of Jerusalem.
The new clinic is an outreach program of the Patricia and Russell Fleischman Women’s Health Center, located on both the Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus campuses of Hadassah Hospital. Launched in 2001, the idea behind the center is to provide a “one-stop shop” for women’s health care, combining interdisciplinary treatment and education for women of all ages, as well as research. The center offers a full range of medical services for four age groups: adolescents, childbearing, middle-aged and elderly women.
Modeled after a similar, highly successful clinic established in a low-income neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, the Abu Ghosh location provides unparalleled convenience for local women, uniting both medical and paramedical disciplines under one roof.
These innovative outreach projects are geared toward the specific populations they serve, making women more comfortable seeking services.
Plans are under way to create similar clinics in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
A group of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, 300 miles east of the Philippines, together form the Republic of Palau, one of the world’s youngest and least populated nations. Almost inexplicably, the country is strongly pro-Israel and votes with the Jewish state at the United Nations.
In appreciation for their continued support, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs turned to Hadassah Hospital to help the small country with its medical- imaging equipment.
Radiologist Dr. Tamar Sella and Nathalie Greenbaum, an X-ray technician, recently visited Palau and spent two weeks training the locals in the proper use of their equipment.
The president-elect of the Greater Atlanta chapter of Hadassah, Ruthanne Warnick (below), was invited to participate in Delta Air Line’s first direct flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv at the end of March.
Hadassah was one of only two local Jewish organizations invited on the trip.
“It was fitting that Greater Atlanta Hadassah, as part of an organization with such strong ties to Israel, should be represented on the milestone inaugural service between Atlanta and Israel,” Warnick said. “Greater Atlanta Hadassah is such an integral part of the Atlanta Jewish community and an active part of the community at large.”
Her first trip to Israel in 32 years, Warnick boarded the nearly full Boeing 777-200 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport bound for Ben-Gurion Airport with close to 250 other passengers.
Hadassah Film Forum
Well-known movie director Pierre Rehov will be attending a screening of his most recent film, Suicide Killers, at the Hadassah Film Forum on June 15 at the Center for Jewish History in New York. The French Israeli filmmaker will be joined by the directors of three other documentaries being shown: In Vienna They Put You in Jail, The Forgotten Refugees and Imagining Peace.
A first of its kind project of the Hadassah Leadership Academy in New York, the event will explore these powerful films, all of which tackle difficult issues faced by the Jewish community—ranging from wartime Europe to the mass exodus of Jews from Arab lands to the challenging questions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today. There will be panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions after the program. For tickets, call 212-575-8193, ext. 232. To find out how to run a similar program in your city, contact Jamie Allen Black at 212-303-8051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Reading List
What Jewish book changed your life? Join On the Same Page: A Hadassah Book Club. This summer, get a head start on the 2006-2007 book list:
Jenna Blum, Those Who Save Us: A Novel (Harcourt)
Harry Freund, Love With Noodles: An Amorous Widower’s Tale (Carroll & Graf)
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love: A Novel (W.W. Norton)
Rochelle Krich, Now You See Me…: A Novel of Suspense (Ballantine Books; see review, page 70)
Nancy Reisman, The First Desire: A Novel (Anchor Books)
Carol Goodman Kaufman, Sins of Omission: The Jewish Community’s Reaction to Domestic Violence (Westview Press)
Steven G. Kellman, Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth (W.W. Norton)
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (Harcourt)
Haim Watzman, Company C: An American’s Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
We’re So Proud
At its Stem Cell Policy and Advocacy summit at Stanford University in California this month, the Genetics Policy Institute awarded Hadassah its National Advocacy Award for nationwide advocacy for the advancement of stem cell research.
Marking the End of an Era
After 62 years at the helm of career counseling, assessment and psychological testing in Israel, the Hadassah Career Counseling Institute has closed its doors. “We have completed our mission,” HCCI chair Sharon Schneider proudly announced. a HCCI was the first and largest institution in Israel in the field of occupational psychology. Indeed, when it was founded in 1944, the notion of career counseling was not anywhere near as popular as it is today. Hadassah identified the specific need for such a service and created an institute devoted to helping people earn a living and become more productive members of Israeli society.
“[HCCI] introduced the need for full-time operations that specialized in helping people achieve professional satisfaction,” Schneider explained. “It set the standard in the business.”
Today, as career assessment and testing have become mainstream, and numerous companies are offering similar services, Hadassah has decided to focus its energies elsewhere. A number of companies have expressed interest in acquiring parts of HCCI’s vast resources, such as its Occupational Information Center, which is the largest library of its kind in Israel.
Over the years, more than half a million clients benefited from HCCI’s services, as it evolved to meet the changing needs of Israeli society. Its original purpose was to assist the tens of thousands of new immigrants in adjusting their skills or retraining to meet the needs of Israel’s job market. For example, to someone who grew up in a farming village in North Africa and suddenly finds himself in an urban area, embarking on a new career was as crucial as it was daunting.
With its resources and expertise in helping new olim, it was natural for HCCI to also offer its tests and guidance services to graduating high school students. So integral had HCCI’s services become that career tests for students in Israel are nicknamed “Hadassah tests.” HCCI also worked with young people finishing Army service and adults considering a second career.
Most recently, HCCI’s mission focused on running special programs for women, helping them get ahead professionally, become entrepreneurs and break the so-called glass ceiling. With more families requiring an income from both spouses, the institute set out to help women join, or rejoin, the work force later in life through teaching job-interview skills and building self-esteem.
HCCI also developed seminars for women in poor areas with high levels of unemployment such as Ramle. Rather than waiting for the women to seek assistance, HCCI brought the seminars to them, helping women break the cycle of poverty and develop the skills and courage necessary to begin a job hunt.
As a nonprofit institution in the growing industry of career-training and guidance services, HCCI came to specialize—“with the support of Hadassah behind us,” according to Schneider—in helping less privileged people obtain satisfying and better-paying jobs, people who could not afford commercial services.
HCCI touched the lives of Israelis of all ages in both the public and private sectors, from corporations to government agencies to private citizens. As an era ends, Hadassah is proud of the tremendous accomplishments of HCCI and its indelible contributions to the people of Israel.