A Time for Hope: Welcoming 5783 Together
At this time of year, the chanting of the Hashiveinu prayer reverberates through my head: Hashiveinu Adonai eilekha v’nashuvah hַadesh yameinu k’kedem (Return us to You, Adonai and we will return. Renew our days as of old). Jews all over the world will sing these words many times before the High Holiday season is over, reflecting on the past year while seeking to reboot our moral compass.
It’s been just over a year since I became Hadassah CEO. I am even more proud to partner with you as we’ve responded in such a meaningful way to crises and challenges. Together we have significantly advanced medical innovation and expanded our capacity at our hospitals in Israel; helped at-risk youth—including 55 new Ukrainian refugees—at our Youth Aliyah villages and continue to mobilize and empower our members throughout the country. This work has attracted world-wide media attention as collectively we have been speaking out: for Israel, for religious pluralism, for gun safety, to protect women’s reproductive health and against antisemitism. One personal highlight includes representing all of you as a speaker for reproductive freedom at the Jewish rally in Washington, DC, attended by thousands in person and online.
In this year, the Hadassah community has given me strength and resilience. It’s been exhilarating to see the passion and purpose everyone brings to our work of healing at Hadassah—and no one more than our president, Rhoda Smolow. I’ve been a nonprofit professional for nearly twenty years, but never have I had so many strategically important meetings with incredibly dedicated volunteers and staff professionals, truly boosting my energy. I couldn’t be more grateful and excited by the warm welcome, whether meeting with Hadassah leaders and donors or representing Hadassah with community leaders and donors.
Every time I’ve gone to speak to someone, they’ve had a Hadassah story they’re excited to share, particularly about how they were inspired by others to get more involved. I hope that in 5783, everyone reading this will commit to inviting others to our table. Together, we can ensure Hadassah is welcoming and inclusive to all.
As we set our intentions for 5783, I hope you’ll consider joining Rhoda and me in Israel for a powerful reunion of thousands of women and men in our Hadassah family, for what I believe will be a historic and rewarding journey, Hadassah’s 100th Convention: Together in Israel.