The Danville Chapter of Hadassah was founded in April 1918 by a group of young Jewish women who were inspired by the ideas and Ideals of Henrietta Szold, and within a few years this local chapter received a charter from the national organization. Early efforts included collecting medical instruments, baby food, and clothing to be sent to Palestine, along with fundraising efforts to support the Hadassah Medical Organization. Our members continue to be strong supporters of the good work done by Hadassah both at home and in Israel, including Youth Aliyah and Young Judaea in addition to HMO. The Danville Chapter draws members from the central part of Southside Virginia, including the communities of Martinsville and South Boston. We currently have 75 life members, although many of them now live in other geographic areas. While our small number presents certain challenges, it has also allowed for a wonderful sense of community and support among our members.
Hadassah Convention 2016 Community Service/Mitzvah Project
Did you know that one child goes through 75 pencils each school year? Yet many children can't afford pencils. That's why Hadassah is conducting a PENCIL DRIVE. Our goal is to collect 10,000 pencils for the “Kids in Need” program at the Atlanta Community Food Bank from attendees at the #HadassahConv2016!
The Kids in Need Program is based on the belief that every child deserves the tools they need for academic achievement. When parents struggle to put food on the table, it can be hard to provide basic school supplies. Every year, Kids in Need distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of brand-new school supplies to teachers in low-income schools in the Atlanta area. Poverty shouldn't threaten a child's academic success.
Ruthanne Warnick & Lee Kansas, the chairs of our #HadassahConv2016 Community Service/Mitzvah Project, reached out to the Kids in Need manager to find out how Hadassah could help. "We can always use pencils," she said.
Our goal is to collect 10,000 pencils for the Kids in Need program from attendees at the #HadassahConv2016! So bring pencils — any color or design — with you to Atlanta. Pencils are lightweight and easy to pack. Even better, they'll help more children in Atlanta achieve academic success.
Let’s send Martha off to Atlanta with lots of pencils! Contact Jo Ann if you’d like to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
Angels of Mercy Campaign
Our major fundraiser is the Angels of Mercy campaign, which has been done annually since 1950. Individuals and businesses are contacted for donations to the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel, and a full page ad is taken out in the Thanksgiving Day edition of the local paper to thank these “Angels of Mercy.” Last year the project raised $12,852 and continues to be our most successful fundraising event.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
Sunday, September 18 will focus on Health and Wellness. Learn how to prepare yourself for the stressful upcoming Holiday season. You need to take care of YOU!
Our December meeting date has not yet been determined. Please mark your calendar today so you won’t miss these exciting programs. Of course, flyers will be sent out with the specifics closer to each meeting date.
From our President
Our very name, "Hadassah: The Women’s Zionist Organization of America,” implies our support for Israel. And certainly, Hadassah has accomplished amazing feats there; beginning by bringing health services to what was then Palestine over a hundred years ago. Our hospitals remain at the cutting edge of medical achievements and are islands of diversity and peace in that troubled area of the world. However, Hadassah also works tirelessly in the United States to advance such concerns as gender equity in medical research and the fight against human trafficking. Most recently, Hadassah added its voice to those advocating for further gun safety legislation after the recent mass shooting in Orlando. As Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin stated:
"We mourn for the victims of the Orlando shooting—an act of terrorism and hate here in America. . . . Current laws do not go far enough, nor are enforced rigorously enough, to help prevent gun violence. . . . Hadassah urges legislators at all levels to enact stronger gun control to protect our citizens, our communities and our nation.”
Hadassah has also been an advocate for a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive health care. In its policy statement, Hadassah asserts "women are (the) proper moral decision-makers in this area, and ... they should be free to make that decision within the context of their own religious convictions, without interference from the state.” In addition, Hadassah has taken a position on any number of domestic issues, including civic participation (". . .encouraging informed and active participation in the American democratic process”); protecting the strict separation of church and state; advocating for equal opportunity regardless of race, gender, religion, or other factors; and working to end violence against women.
And of course, Hadassah continues its support for Israel! On June 14th, Ellen Hershkin provided an op-ed piece supporting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is the first U.S. governor to issue an executive order against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that targets Israel. Governor Cuomo’s action and Hadassah’s support for it have helped to expose BDS as a divisive force that works against peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
Hadassah’s work makes a huge impact, and our small but mighty Danville chapter is proud to be a part of that work. Join us!
Martha Woody, President
P.S. One more reason to support Hadassah - Dr. Dana Wolf, head of the clinical virology unit in the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, is leading a Hadassah team in studying Zika samples from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wolf has explained, “Zika is dangerous in the interface between mother and unborn child. That has always been a Hadassah priority.”
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Jo Ann Howard