Great Achievements, Personal and Public
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it is written: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: …a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” As summer wanes, we look forward to the New Year. It is time to celebrate recent outstanding achievements: Hadassah was recognized by the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce for its partnership with Israel; National President Nancy Falchuk received an honorary doctorate; Hadassah Magazine won several awards for excellence in Jewish journalism; and special Hadassah chapters were honored for their membership and fund-raising achievements. Kol ha-kavod to all and Shana Tova!
—Ruth G. Cole
Look Who’s Touring Hadassah
Even if you can’t take a trip to Israel right now, you can go on a virtual tour of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower currently being built at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. Join actor Natalie Portman (above) on this unique tour of the facilities and learn about the plans under way: Go towww.hadassah.org/tower to see for yourself.
The new inpatient tower may seem far away but Hadassah Medical Organization reaches beyond borders and geographical divides. As Portman puts it, “It’s about healing. It’s about compassion. It’s about life. It’s about you.”
For more information about Hadassah’s tower campaign, call 800-988-0685 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling all Jewish university students and young professionals!
Registration for Young Judaea’s Taglit-Birthright Israel winter trips opens on September 9 at 12 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time). Space is limited for this free, 10-day trip to Israel for Jewish adults, ages 18 to 26, who have never before participated in an organized Israel trip with their peers.
Priority will be given to those who sign up promptly. Learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at www.toisraelnow.org or call 212-303-8170.
Just What the Doctor Ordered—for Dinner
“Healthy gourmet food isn’t an oxymoron,” says Dr. Rani Polak, a Hadassah doctor and Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Nor should you have to go out of your way to make special dishes only to be eaten by a diabetic child or adult, he insists.
Dr. Polak makes Hadassah doubly proud, both at the Hadassah Medical Center, where he is the director of the Center for Healthy Living, and at Hadassah College Jerusalem, where he teaches future chefs how to cook more healthfully and, specifically, how to create recipes that take into consideration the dos and don’ts for those suffering from Crohn’s disease, diabetes and celiac disease. His first cookbook, Delicious Diabetic Recipes: The Gourmet Cookbook for a Healthy Life (Imagine/Penn), was published recently in the United States.
Dr. Polak, 37, was born in Rishon Lezion and, after service in the Israel Defense Forces, he enrolled in the Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School. Midway through the six-year program, he took a year-long break to visit Australia. There, he led locals and tourists on outback hiking treks and indulged his passion for cooking at the Australian outpost of Le Cordon Bleu.
On returning to Israel, the disparate ingredients of his education fermented. Dr. Polak became interested in Crohn’s disease, a severe gastrointestinal illness. When his patients complained about the dietary restrictions, he started coming to the hospital with his stethoscope and a spatula. Dr. Polak developed a cooking workshop that included a grand dinner. Soon, he was recruited by HCJ’s Culinary Arts Department, where chefs for restaurants, hotels and catering companies learn their profession. He continues to teach wellness cooking classes at the Center for Healthy Living.
“I’m not just interested in treating diseases,” says Dr. Polak. “I want to improve the quality of everyday life for patients.”
Training Physicians for the Front Lines
Next month, the Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem will welcome the first class of its Military School of Medicine.
The medical school won the bid from Israel’s Defense Ministry to establish a program specially designed to train physicians for the Israel Defense Forces. No more than 50 students will be accepted to the program each year; the IDF will cover their tuition and housing expenses in exchange for a five-year commitment to the Army after graduation.
“Only Jerusalem can offer the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center—both internationally renowned institutions,” noted Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
The new school will be the only one of its kind in Israel. According to
Dr. Shmuel Shapira, director of the program, it will address the shortage of full-time physicians in the IDF, new challenges of unconventional warfare and the need for physicians trained to manage modern military clinics in a sophisticated manner.
Students will share most of their classes with other first-year medical students but will receive extra training in sports medicine, management, treating trauma and dealing with chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
CHAPTER AWARDS Congratulations to all the Hadassah chapters and units across the country that won fund-raising and membership awards this year! Check out the winners at www.hadassah.org/yearendaward.
A Campus Bridge
Hadassah builds bridges for peace and now for education as well. In May, the Milton Gottesman Bridge was installed at Hadassah College Jerusalem, unifying the urban college campus. The bridge crosses Ha-Havatzelet Street, connecting the Esther Gottesman Center for Technology and HCJ’s main building on Ha-Nevi’im Street.
The new bridge and expansion will also provide a more protected environment for students and faculty and will improve campus security while creating much needed space
for the college’s growing student body.
Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk received an honorary degree from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, at the college’s commencement ceremony in May. The doctorate of humane letters was conferred on Falchuk by Hebrew College president, Rabbi Daniel L. Lehmann, and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Ronald Feinstein.
“This ceremony, this honor, connects all of us in the Hebrew College family and all of us in the Hadassah family,” said Falchuk, a Newton resident. Falchuk (above, right) was introduced by Suzanne Offit (left), a past president of Hadassah’s Boston chapter, who received her rabbinic ordination at the same ceremony.
Also in May, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce awarded its annual Chamber Award to Hadassah in recognition of its contributions to enhancing the relationship between the two countries.
The award was presented to Falchuk at the Chamber’s annual gala dinner at the residence of James B. Cunningham, United States ambassador to Israel. Member of Knesset Tzipi Livni was also in attendance and addressed the guests.
“It is with great pleasure and deep thanks that Hadassah accepts this award…,” said Falchuk. “A partnership between Israel and the United States is in Hadassah’s DNA, and we are proud to receive this award.”
In Pursuit of Justice
The Charlottesville, Virginia, chapter of Hadassah honored United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with its inaugural Rachel Phillips Levy Woman of the Year Award at the end of June.
Eleven members of the chapter’s executive board traveled to Washington, D.C., where its president, Rose Capon, presented the award to Justice Ginsburg “for her extraordinary achievements in working toward justice and equality for women and their families.”
The award was created “to celebrate women’s accomplishments in the areas of art, science, government and community service—and to recognize very special women who exhibit the qualities of courage, integrity, fortitude and chutzpa,” according to Capon. It is named in honor of the mother of Uriah P. Levy, the first Jewish commodore in the United States Navy and a veteran of the War of 1812.
For Excellence in Jewish Journalism, the Winner Is...
Hadassah Magazine won seven Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism for 2008. The awards were presented at the annual conference of the American Jewish Press Association in Evanston, Illinois, in June.
Rahel Musleah’s “Security Over Secrecy” (January 2008 issue) won first place in the category of excellence in feature writing. In the category of excellence in personality profiles, Hadassah Magazine took both first and second place, for Leora Eren Frucht’s “Breaking the Silence” (March) and “Najem Wali” by Shoshana London Sappir (November). Hadassah Magazine also received both prizes in the category of excellence in photography, first for “Jewish High Society” by Jason Eskenazi (January) and second for the photo essay “A Nation in Focus” (May). Gershom Gorenberg’s “Oops, You’re Not Jewish” (November) won second place for excellence in a single commentary and Ilana Kurshan’s “My Hearth Is Lit” (May) won second place in the category of personal essay.