Inside Hadassah On a Mission in Israel and Around the Globe
During the holiday of Purim—the anniversary of Hadassah’s founding—we recall two visionaries: Queen Esther and Henrietta Szold. Both shaped the destiny of the Jewish nation: Queen Esther by risking her life for her people and Szold by transforming the dream of Jewish peoplehood into building the medical, educational and humanitarian structures in the Israel that we cherish today. It is because of these great women and our collective dreams and support that we can today celebrate Purim and Hadassah’s 96th year by building for the years to come. Hag Purim Sameah!
—Ruth G. Cole
See Israel the Hadassah Way
Frances Friedman’s first trip to Israel was with her daughter, Paulette, on a Hadassah Family Mission in 2004.
“As a single mom, the idea of going with other families was appealing, and the price was right,” recalled the high school French teacher from Worcester, Massachusetts. “I had no idea that this mission would change my life forever.”
Today, Friedman (below, with her daughter) is president of Hadassah’s Worcester chapter; Paulette, now 18, is spending the year in Israel. “A Hadassah mission is more than a trip abroad,” said Friedman. “It awakens every fiber of your heart. It is emotional and spiritual.”
Israel’s 60th anniversary is a great excuse to plan a visit this year. Take part in the Israel Independence Day Mission (May 4 to 12) or journey to Poland and Israel with Hadassah (May 31 to June 12) to explore the one-time centers of Jewish life in Warsaw and Krakow, followed by an enriching experience in the Jewish state.
Discover the beauty of Israel and Hadassah together with your family, as Friedman did: The Summer Family Adventure, from June 26 to July 8, is a great way to kick off summer vacation. The itinerary will take you throughout the country—you can swim in the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean, and explore ancient archaeological sites hands-on as well as visit modern cities and institutions.
For more information about Hadassah’s Israel missions, please call 800-237-1517 or e-mail email@example.com.
YJ in Parliament
Forty-five Young Judaeans traveled to the United Kingdom recently, continuing their yearlong study of the history of Zionism. They are part of Year Course Olami, a new section of Year Course that takes students on journeys throughout the world.
Participants spent a whirlwind week in England touring Jewishly significant historical sites, meeting with key community leaders and government ministers.
Historian Sir Martin Gilbert met the students in the Cabinet War Room, the underground bunker where the British cabinet met during World War II, and explained how Winston Churchill had backed Israel’s establishment from the beginning.
“The trip deepened my Zionism,” said Adina Geller of Puerto Rico. “I’m getting a much fuller picture of the many steps it took to bring our state into being.”
Share Your Story With Us!
Do you have special memories of the founding of the State of Israel? Whether you were in Israel at that momentous time or elsewhere in the world, we want to hear your story from the early years of the state.
Please share your brief memories or anecdotes with Hadassah Magazine. Letters may be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to Inside Hadassah, 50 West 58th Street, New York, New York 10019. Submissions received before March 16 will be considered for publication; we will be celebrating Israel’s 60th birthday in the May issue.
Once again, Hadassah Medical Organization is making contributions well beyond the Jewish state. Shula Parush, the director of graduate studies at the Hadassah–Hebrew University School of Occupational Therapy in Jerusalem, was recently invited to join the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research. The academy is comprised of only 30 members from around the world.
Parush has received international attention for her research in the field of sensory-moderation disorders.
“Every stimulus is perceived by one of our five senses,” she explained, “but sometimes touch, taste, sight, hearing or smell are confused.” The symptoms of these disorders are often treated and, therefore, most easily diagnosed by occupational therapists.
Hadassah pioneered the field of occupational therapy in prestate Israel, opening the School of Occupational Therapy in 1947, and it continues to be the leader in the country. Each year, only 5 percent of applicants are accepted to the school, making it one of the most competitive academic programs in the country.
A Hawaiian Welcome
To Israelis, Hawaii is an almost unimaginably remote destination. At least, so says Razia Ben Gurion, the great- niece of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion. She was greatly surprised, therefore, when she received an invitation from the Hadassah chapter in Hawaii to speak about her great-uncle at its annual meeting last September.
At the beginning of Ben Gurion’s lecture, she was presented with a lei of fresh flowers by Barbara Fischlowitz-Leong, the chapter president. During Ben Gurion’s visit, she explained how the work of her family was inseparable from that of Hadassah’s founder, Henrietta Szold, whom she knew of through the direct involvement of her own father, Arye Ben Gurion, in Youth Aliyah in prestate Israel.
On this chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean—that seemed to her “the farthest place on Earth”—Ben Gurion was impressed by the tireless efforts of the Hadassah members there.
“I did not expect to find in Honolulu a group of women so motivated, so well informed and involved in the Israeli scene,” she said. “I have never met such a concentration of powerful, dedicated women.
“I could not help but feel deep gratitude for these women, for their continuous commitment to Israel.” She added, “If Szold were alive today, she would be amazed.”
A Scholar in Our Midst
Hila Levy has been making headlines. The Young Judaea alumna is the first resident of Puerto Rico to receive a prestigious Rhodes scholarship.
Cadet First Class Levy, a senior at the United States Air Force Academy, is one of about 85 Rhodes scholars selected worldwide for 2008. She is a biology major, speaks six languages and has done research on dengue and hemorrhagic fever in Venezuela. She attended Camp Tel Yehudah in 2001 and was on the national mazkirut (board) of Young Judaea in 2003-2004.
The scholarship will enable Levy—the 35th Rhodes scholar from the Air Force Academy—to study at Oxford University in England. She hopes to complete her master’s degree in global health science.
The Rhodes scholarship is the oldest award for international study, established in 1902 through the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. Stipulated in his will, the criteria for the award include academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.
From Blueprints to Bulldozers
Work is under way on hadassah hospital’s Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower on the campus at Ein Kerem, but the noise and ubiquitous dust that are usually evidence of a construction site are notably reduced, as every effort has been made to safeguard the comfort and health of hospital patients and staff.
Special care has also been given to environmental concerns. To this end, the demolition of the nursing school—where the new tower is rising—was carried out piece by piece last year, and materials were sorted and recycled. Even cement, stone and bricks were carted off to be ground down and used to make new bricks.
In July, work began on the new parking facility that will provide spaces for 1,000 cars, with easy drop-off and pickup points at the new entrance of the campus.
In November, the first stage of infrastructure alterations was completed. Excavations are well under way in an area of 66,000 square feet next to the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center, where the new tower will be located.
War is a fact of life in Israel, unfortunately, and being prepared is crucial. After the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, building codes in Israel were changed to consider security during various war scenarios, and the blueprints for the tower were likewise modified. The plans now include increased fortified areas: two belowground floors as well as the surgical intensive-care unit on the 2nd floor of the building. These are in addition to the intensive-care cardiac unit on the 3rd floor and the medical intensive-care unit on the 12th.
The tower’s underground levels will double as bomb shelters with added safeguards to protect against chemical or biological warfare. These levels include a floor of operating rooms and 260 beds, which add up to a total of 382 beds in protected areas.
With the final stages of design development completed, plans are in the works now for the interior of the building, starting with the entrance atrium and healing gardens. Yarom Vardimon, Israel Prize winner, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty of design at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, will be responsible for interior visual signage and donor recognition.
Even before the construction began, the new tower had already received a citation for excellence in health care facility design from the American Institute of Architects and Modern Healthcare magazine.
To date, all the necessary building permits have been obtained and everything is going according to plan. The facility is scheduled to open in 2012—coinciding with Hadassah’s centennial celebrations.
“The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower represents all that we stand for,” said Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization. “It is more than a building. It is a concrete expression of our commitment to setting the standard… for our patients, for the people of Jerusalem and all the peoples of the region.”
For further information about the national tower campaign, chaired by Judy and Sidney Swartz, call 800-988-0685 or email@example.com.