Yashar, the Attorneys and Judges Chapter
Yashar was established in 1994, by a group of Jewish woman lawyers and judges, who saw a need for networking and felt a strong desire to give back to the Jewish community and Hadassah, in particular. It was the first and, to our knowledge, remains the only Attorneys' and Judges' Chapter of Hadassah. Chartered on February 16, 1994, the Chapter was aptly named "Yashar", the Hebrew word for Justice. As the name suggests, the members of Yashar are committed to contributing their legal talents to further Hadassah's educational and social goals. Yashar continues to thrive both as a Hadassah chapter and a vital component of Nassau County's legal community, being listed as a bar association in the Nassau County Bar Association's directory. Yashar offers attorneys the unique ability to meet in an informal atmosphere and discuss issues with sitting Judges in Nassau County. Yashar's mission has been to combine education with networking, by presenting programs of interest to the Jewish legal community.
From our President
Over the past twenty years, Yashar's programs have spanned a myriad number of issues, including most recently, Sexual abuse in the Jewish Community; How to obtain a GET in New York; The Haredim and how it impacts daily life in Israel; An Inside Look at new York’s Grievance Committee and How to Avoid It; New York's Marriage Equality Act and its impact on Adoption Law, Matrimonial Law and Wills and Trusts; as well several commemorations of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We have welcomed guest speakers who discussed their journeys from Holocaust to freedom in the U.S., including but not limited to, one woman whose family fled to Shanghai and another woman who was saved by the Kindertransport. Over the past few years, Yashar has sponsored a trip to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove, the Yeshiva University Museum in Manhattan, a Hanukkah Party, a Sukkot Dinner in a Succah, and its annual membership summer party.
We have proudly honored members of the legal and/or Jewish community for outstanding accomplishments at our annual Installation Dinners. Over the past 20 years, Yashar's Honorees have included: Hon. Bea Burstein, Hon. Pauline Balkin, Hon. Marie Santagata, Hon. Frank X. Altimari, Myrna Felder, Esq., and Linda Fairstein, Esq., Hon. Jack Weinstein, Hon. Anne Mead, Congresswoman Caroline McCarthy, Karen Burstein, Esq., Hon. Arthur D. Spatt, Hon. Claire Weinberg (Yashar Founder), Hon. Lorna Goodman (1st female Nassau County Attorney), Roslyn R. Mauskopf Esq., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of N.Y., Hon. Sandra Feuerstein, Hon. Michael L. Orenstein & Judy Orenstein, Honorable Ruth C. Balkin, Hon. Leonard Austin, Hon. Denise Sher, Hon. Hope Schwartz Zimmerman and the Honorable Dorothy Eisenberg. This year we honored the Honorable Lea Ruskin, ret. Nassau County, New York, on May 6, 2015.
Last year’s programs were a unique mixture of Jewish and legal topics: We screened the movie "Hannah Arendt" at the Nassau County Bar Association, which was preceded by a buffet dinner and followed by a very lively discussion about the movie; and Sonia Taitz, author of the Watchmaker's Daughter, joined us to discuss her book. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are honored some of Yashar’s own Women Pioneers including Hon. Pauline Balkin, Hon. Dorothy Eisenberg, Hon. Zelda Jonas, Hon. Marie Santagata, and Hon. Mildred Zilko, who all had fascinating stories to share about their early days in the legal community.
For the second consecutive year, a group of Yashar's members joined Hadassah's Attorneys' Council for its annual Attorney Swearing‑In at the United States Supreme Court on February 24th, 2015. We were very excited to again be participating in this amazing event and hope it becomes an annual trip to the High Court and Washington, D.C.
Jacqueline Harounian, Esq.
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