Inside Hadassah: Food for Thought in New Orleans
At this season we celebrate Sukkot and Thanksgiving and recall significant Zionist turning points. Our hearts connect to November 2, 1917, when the Balfour Declaration recognized the dream of a Jewish homeland, and to November 29, 1947, when the United Nations voted to partition Palestine—both paving the way for the creation of the State of Israel. We also recall a recent important event for Hadassah, when leaders and delegates gathered in New Orleans in July, to deliberate critical issues, rejoice in our achievements and recommit our efforts to ensure a strong future for Hadassah, Israel and the Jewish people. May we go from strength to strength. —Ruth G. Cole
Hadassah Magazine mourns the passing of William Korey, scholar, human rights expert and longtime active member of our editorial board.
Author of hundreds of essays and half a dozen books, Korey fought for the cause of Soviet Jewry and for the United States to ratify the convention against genocide.
Korey was the founding director of B’nai Brith International’s United Nations’ office and served as the director of the organization’s Department of International Policy Research. He also taught at City College, Columbia University and Yeshiva University, all in New York.
A memorial service will be held on October 19 at the Center for Jewish History (www.cjh.org) in New York.
To Your Credit
What better way to earn Continuing Medical Education credits than with a trip to Israel? Join the Hadassah National Physicians’ Council at its second CME Conference, from March 1 to 5, 2010, at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Accredited by Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, courses will cover a variety of topics; there will be a concurrent pediatrics program as well. Participants will also have the opportunity to spend a day at the Dead Sea learning about complementary and alternative medicine and enjoying an afternoon at a spa or touring the area.
The first Hadassah CME conference drew physicians from the United States, Australia, Poland, Greece, Switzerland and Canada. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-303-8183.
Cooking Up a Buzz
Cooking with the Stars attracted over 120 women and raised $22,000 for Hadassah; it also earned the organizers the 2009 Judith Epstein Memorial Award, a prestigious prize presented annually by Hadassah to young leaders whose community projects bring visibility to the organization.
Diana Sussman, Michelle Scher Saunders and Meredith Poster Bukzin of the Westport, Connecticut, chapter, brought together seven area chefs and a wine expert for a tasting, cook-off and silent auction at the end of March.
Bukzin credits the success of the evening to “the amount of energy that everyone put into the event—talking it up, creating a buzz.”
Plus, she adds, “People really like food events.”
Runner-up for the award this year was Lisa Lowhurst, from the Spokane chapter in Washington, for her community project Possibilities for Peace: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges in the Middle East. Lowhurst, in partnership with local Gonzaga University, invited author and activist Nonie Darwish to speak to the community; a dinner and private autograph session with Darwish raised nearly $7,000 for Hadassah.
Hadassah Swings in the Big Easy
Hope and a drive to action were the pervading tones of the 2009 Hadassah National Business Meeting at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel this summer. The program, held on July 14 and 15, was dubbed “Swing Into Action” and was jam-packed with inspiration and information. Despite challenging economic times, over 300 delegates attended the meetings. The Hadassah national board was there in full force, following its annual meeting at the same venue, July 12 to 14.
“We demonstrated the strength and power of Hadassah,” said Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk. “When times get tough, we do what we have to do. Issues were addressed head on.”
Ranging in age from 33 to 88, participants came from 30 states and 193 cities; all 28 Hadassah regions and 8 big chapters were represented.
On the first day of the meeting, delegates were addressed by Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director-general of the Hadassah Medical Organization, and Professor Nava Ben-Zvi, president of Hadassah College Jerusalem. Both shared moving personal stories of their lives and careers, which are so closely intertwined with Hadassah in Jerusalem.
As usual, despite the serious issues discussed, there was still time to celebrate. One session marked this year’s 100th anniversary of Young Judaea; at another, Hadassah region and big chapter presidents were introduced to the crowd, Mardi Gras-style. The atmosphere was both colorful and festive as the local Storyville Stompers Brass Band entertained delegates at a dessert reception sponsored in part by Ayelet Tours, IGT and the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
On the second day, participants heard presentations by the chairs of each of Hadassah’s major projects. Several brief but poignant videos were shown, featuring interviews with people in Israel whose lives had been touched and transformed by Hadassah’s vital work at the Hadassah Medical Center, Youth Aliyah villages, HCJ and in partnership with the Jewish National Fund.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, addressed the crowd on The Role of American Jewry in a Rapidly Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities.
To thundering applause, Hoenlein declared, “Our job today is to tell the story of Israel, to reaffirm its legitimacy. Not to be afraid to call ourselves Zionist and to proclaim it to the world.
“When we stand united, when we stand together, there is no force that can overcome us,” he continued. “We are going to let everyone know where we stand, from the White House to the lowest public official. Hadassah has been the backbone of every movement that I can remember in my professional life, now almost 40 years. Whenever there was a tough time, we knew we could turn to you. This is a time we’re turning to you.”
“We are an army of activists that always gets the job done,” said Falchuk in her call to action that closed the meetings. “Those of us who came to New Orleans are the vanguard of 270,000 women and 32,000 associates who simply don’t know how to give up.”
She urged Hadassah members to keep up their dedication and tireless efforts. “We’ll work hard this coming year, and next year—just two years short of the Hadassah centennial—we’ll gather 2,000-strong in Florida,” she said, referring to the July 2010 national convention to be held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.
“We’ll continue building our tower in Jerusale