"I wanted our son Sam to get the message that supporting Hadassah must be part of his life, and so my husband, Steven, and I decided to celebrate his bar mitzvah at Hadassah Hospital. Some said, why don't go to the Wall? But our Wall is here at Hadassah," said Cheryl Finegold Dorchinsky, Sam’s mother, at his Bar Mitzvah.
For Cheryl it was the second time, within a month, that she was at Hadassah Hospital, although she lives near Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia. Cheryl and 15 other Hadassah Leadership Fellows, were at Hadassah Hospital for the Rae Frank Mission to Poland and Israel in May. The Mission is part of a two-year Hadassah program to inspire, educate and empower young Hadassah leaders, and includes an insider’s view of Hadassah’s institutions in Israel among other things.
"It was a trip of a lifetime, but I knew I had to come back and get my family to share my love of Israel and Hadassah," she said.
The family was led through the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower atrium accompanied by drumming and shofar blowing. They were taken to the Abbell Synagogue, where the 12 stained glass windows by Marc Chagall bring in the Jerusalem light. In the morning service, Sam put on tefillin and a tallit for the first time and was called to the Torah. He read a section of the Torah from the Book of Numbers. His portion, B'halotcha, opened with the description of the menorah used in the ancient Temple. Behind him, the menorah was depicted in the Chagall window, named for biblical patriarch Jacob's son Asher.
A large delegation of family and friends from America joined Sam and cheered his achievements. M’dor l’dor, from one generation to another, sang the congregants, who represented three generations of Hadassah members and supporters. Barbara Goldstein, deputy director of Hadassah’s Israel offices, facilitated the ceremony with Rabbi Israel Serok. "Imagine yourself sitting here with your own son or daughter and carrying on your family tradition," she said.
Taking part in the ceremony was Dvir Musai, 26, who was badly injured in a terror attack just before his Bar Mitzvah and who has undergone 30 operations at Hadassah. "I had to have someone put on my tefillin for me," he told Sam. "But at Hadassah I learned the message of overcoming adversity. I learned to dream more and achieve more."
In the Bloomberg Mother and Child Center, Sam and his cousins passed out dozens of toys to the sick children. In one room Sam met Dov, 10, suffering from epilepsy. The boys exchanged high-fives and greetings. "Refuya shleima…get well soon" Sam said. “Mazal tov,” Dov responded.
The visit ended at a Hadassah wall— in the Sharett Institute of Oncology —where Arnold Dorchinsky, Sam's grandfather, was honored with a plaque on the Wall of Promise. Stephanie Dorchinsky, Sam's grandmother, said she "was very moved that her husband was remembered by his children and grandchildren. "
Cheryl and Steven Dorchinsky both said that the Hadassah wall is “where we need to come and celebrate."