Inside Hadassah: A Time for Healing
In May we celebrate Shavuot, the giving of the Torah, and Yom Yerushalayim. We focused on Jerusalem recently when Hadassah received a generous gift from William and Karen Davidson of Detroit to help build the new inpatient tower at Hadassah Medical Center. We are grateful for our donors everywhere and for the vision and brilliance of our medical and scientific professionals and the projects they undertake. Hadassah’s illustrious achievements are recorded in our archives, which we highlight here, too. So come to July’s national convention in New York and celebrate
William and Karen Davidson have given $75 million on behalf of Guardian Industries Corp. in Auburn Hills, Michigan, for the new tower at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center at Ein Kerem. The announcement of the gift was made in early March at the tower’s cornerstone dedication ceremony.
The new facility will be named the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower, in memory of William Davidson’s mother, a founder of the Detroit chapter of Hadassah—one of the oldest in the organization.
“I so appreciate the long history my family has had with Hadassah… whose impact on the Jewish world I have admired over the years,” said Davidson (right, with his wife, Karen). “I have been personally impressed with the quality of care the Hadassah Medical Organization consistently provides to all citizens of Israel and residents of the region, whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
“I am proud and gratified to know that as a result of this gift, the hospital’s infrastructure will be vastly enhanced,” Davidson added.
The tower is scheduled for completion in 2012, in time to celebrate Hadassah’s centennial. The 14-story structure will include 500 beds, 50 intensive-care beds and 20 state-of-the-art operating rooms.
Davidson is president and CEO of Guardian Industries, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of float glass and fabricated glass products for the architectural and automotive industries. He also owns several sports franchises, including the Detroit Pistons in the NBA and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL.
Center for Children with Chronic Disease
One in five children suffers from a chronic medical condition, such as cystic fibrosis, Down’s syndrome and juvenile diabetes. In June 2004, Hadassah created the first Center for Children with Chronic Diseases in Israel, which provides coordinated and comprehensive care. Hadassah is now looking forward to the opening of a new facility on Mount Scopus, which will bring the services together under one roof.
The center will continue to give young patients access to specialized medical teams, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists and rehabilitation experts. The new facility will also allow for growth and possible expansion of the center’s services.
A Glance at the Past
“Study the past if you would define the future,” Confucius taught. Since Hadassah is in the business of changing the present and defining the future, it is apropos that it would have top-notch archives that lovingly chronicle over 90 years of Hadassah’s history. a “The women who lead Hadassah really value their history,” says Susan Woodland, Hadassah’s archivist. “They use it to build cur“Study the past if you would define the future,” Confucius taught. Since Hadassah is in the business of changing the present and defining the future, it is apropos that it would have top-notch archives that lovingly chronicle over 90 years of Hadassah’s history. a “The women who lead Hadassah really value their history,” says Susan Woodland, Hadassah’s archivist. “They use it to build current projects and this gives Hadassah lots of strength.”
Located at the Center for Jewish History in New York, the Hadassah archives house approximately 900 linear feet of material, in different media, including pamphlets, microfilms and photographs. Among its miscellaneous items are boxes of pins and buttons dating back to the 1940’s, the original pre-1920 logbooks from the New Britain chapter and a cape that belonged to Shulamit Cantor, one of the early deans of Hadassah’s nursing school.
The archives are culled from various sources: The collection started with boxes of documents stored in the basement of Hadassah House, and expanded through contributions from chapters and individual donations, some of which have been acquired from unusual sources. A 45-rpm record of Allan Sherman singing his parody “Westchester Hadassah” was bought on eBay and donated. “We’ll take [any] donations…as long as they’re Hadassah related,” Woodland says.
One donation in particular stands out in Woodland’s memory. An elderly man and his wife came to the archives with three Mandate-Palestine pounds. As a youngster, the man had been part of Youth Aliyah. He became ill and met Henrietta Szold at Hadassah Hospital. She raised money to send him to New York to receive the treatment he needed. Before he left on his journey, Szold gave him five Palestinian pounds as spending money. The man had only spent two of them and wanted to return the other three. “I later came across a folder,” Woodland recalls. “Inside was this man’s whole story, his medical background and correspondence between Henrietta Szold and Hadassah [in the United States].”
Some of the stories are not as uplifting. There are daily cables dating to 1948 from Dr. Haim Yassky, then director of Hadassah Hospital, about the safety of the hospital on Mount Scopus. One day in April, the telegrams stopped arriving—a massacre on the way to the hospital left 78 doctors, nurses and patients dead, including Dr. Yassky.
The archives are open to the public (an appointment is recommended; call Woodland at 917-606-8259 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The collection is currently being put online, and a database is becoming available atwww.hadassah.org/archives.
People come to the archives to research their genealogy, books or Ph.D. theses. A research assistant from California Institute of Technology came to discover more about Albert Einstein, who was involved in the establishment of Hadassah’s medical school.
The archives are more than just an intimate view of Hadassah’s legacy. “Lots of people want to know about women’s issues, and Hadassah is part of greater women’s history and culture,” says Woodland.
“There are so many great stories in here,” she adds. “The archives allow the world to know about all the work Hadassah has done.”
Searching for a Cure
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research recently presented a grant to Cell Cure Neurosciences, Ltd., a start-up held by Hadasit, Hadassah’s technology transfer company.
The $660,000 two-year grant is for research on the use of neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, specifically for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
“We’re delighted,” said Cell Cure chief scientist Dr. Benjamin Reubinoff, a gynecologist at Hadassah Hospital and head of stem cell re-search there. Cell Cure, which is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is developing human embryonic stem cell-based therapies for neural disorders, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Actor Michael J. Fox (above) established his foundation in 2000, after announcing publicly that he had been diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. In its first five years, the foundation disbursed nearly $70 million for
Now is the time to make plans to attend Hadassah’s 93rd annual national convention, from July 15 to 18, at the New York Hilton.
Join thousands of Hadassah members and Associates to discuss critical issues facing the Jewish world, from advocacy, health and the environment to Jewish education, youth and the future of Zionism.
- Gain a better understanding of the challenges of the Middle East in foreign policy from Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent.Hear Rabbi Daniel Gordis, vice president of the Mandel Foundation and director of the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, speak about the people of Israel today.
- Meet the Honorable Sallai Meridor, Israeli ambassador to the United States, and Ze’ev Bielski, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
- Applaud New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as he is honored with the prestigious Henrietta Szold Award.
- Participate in the new Israel-United States Business and Technology Forum.
- Be inspired by the fascinating stories of visionary women who have accomplished extraordinary achievements.
- Salute Hadassah’s dynamic leaders; welcome the new national president, Nancy Falchuk; and bid farewell to outgoing president June Walker.
Make time this summer for learning, networking and exploring New York. For more information, call 877-790-2676, email@example.com
Words can’t express how grateful I am to the devoted women who organized the Berkshire Hills chapter’s 69th annual donor dinner that highlighted breast cancer awareness.
Thank you also to the breast cancer survivors who so graciously shared their personal journeys; you possibly saved my life.
After the dinner, I went home feeling empowered by the wealth of information and did a 15-minute breast self-exam. I did not find anything abnormal. However, the following night, still feeling motivated by the speakers I did another self-exam in a different position. At this time I found a hard, pea-size lump.
Three doctors assured me that it was “probably normal hormonal changes and it would probably go away in a month.” Regardless, I followed my intuition that it was not “normal” for me and decided to have it surgically removed. It turned out to be invasive lobular breast cancer.
My radiologist said that I must have a guardian angel because the chances of finding my cancer were about 5 percent. This form of breast cancer is not usually found on mammograms or ultrasounds.
As a third-generation life member, I understand now more than ever the magnitude of Hadassah’s efforts. It can touch people’s lives in profound ways. It saved mine!
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