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News Around the Country

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Baltimore Chapter Goes on Mission to Israel

Members of the mission in Israel.

Nearly thirty members traveled on a mission to Israel in mid-October with the Baltimore Chapter. It was a first for most in the group, which was comprised of members from chapters in Maryland, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey and Tennessee. Led by Laurie Weitz and Aileen Bormel of the National Board, the group toured all the “must-sees” in Israel from Masada to the JNF Forest:

“We hiked in the Banias, watched how the IDF trains dogs to sniff out explosives and find terrorists, saw the new city of Modi’in , walked streets and explored tunnels that were 4000 years old,” organizer Laurie Weitz said.

“And we listened to tales of the heroes who fought and continue to fight so that all Jews have a place to call home and feel accepted," she said. Lastly, she said, the group witnessed the impact Hadassah has made, and continues to make, in the region. 

"As our guide said, ‘Israel would be a different country without Hadassah,'" she said. 

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Southern New Jersey Region holds Successful Keepers Event

Back Row ( to r): Rita Millen, Region Major Gifts co-Chair; Speaker Tamar Davis; SNJ Region President Sherry Kaufman; Marsha Schiffman, Region co-fundraising VP; Speaker Barbara Goldstein Front Row ( to r): Joannie Weinfeld, SNJ Region Fundraising co-chair; Ruth Hyman and Tiby Lapkin, Region Keepers co-chairs

SNJ Region Co-fundraising Vice President Marsha Schiffman presenting a certificate of appreciation to speaker Barbara Goldstein (“BG”)

On Sunday, October 6, 2013, Hadassah Southern New Jersey Region hosted a Keepers of the Gate Brunch at a lovely event site near the Jersey shore. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the Region’s current Keepers and educate other attendees about this very important annual giving program. Barbara Goldstein, Deputy Director of the Hadassah office in Israel on a speaking tour of the US, spoke about our connections to and opportunities to support Israel. Alluding to the closing of the Book of Life on Yom Kippur she reminded us that the “Gates of Hadassah” are always open. Tamar Davis, National Director of Annual Giving, segued into an explanation of the Keepers program, showed a moving PowerPoint, and tied it into the Choose Where to Make Your Impact initiative, reminding us to “make a difference.”

The Region also honored their current Keepers of 10 years or more with a red rose ceremony.

As a result of the event three current Keepers upgraded to Chai level ($1800) and 5 members joined the program as brand new Keepers. Southern New Jersey’s goal for 2014 is to engage at least four new Keepers, and reach 102 in the Region in honor of Hadassah’s 102nd year.

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Richmond Chapter Models 100 Years of Fashion

On October 20, 2013, over 160 Members and Associates of the Richmond Chapter gathered to celebrate its members, honor six Life Members of 50+ years, and recognize 300 Life Members of 25+ years.

The Membership Appreciation event, chaired by Co-Membership VPs Elaine Ragone and Beth Rochkind, started when ten Associates entered in a chorus line, wearing top hats and bow ties, singing Hello Hadassah, with original lyrics to the tune of Hello Dolly.

After a delicious brunch, the program Fashion and History through Hadassah's Decades was a smash hit when 20 Hadassah ladies modeled period clothing spanning 100 years, provided by a local professional theater company. The script (updated and edited from Hadassah's Centennial program) was full of history, pop culture and Hadassah's achievements.

The program continued with the honoring of six Hadassah women who had been Life Members for 50+ years, complete with a video presentation of their personal stories, presentation of 50-year pins and personalized certificates. Afterwards, there was recognition of Life Members of 25+ years with presentation of certificates.

In attendance were four new members, many multiple generation families, and many Associates. There was no minimal donation required to attend, however over $3,000 was raised from donations made by family and friends who wrote tribute messages in honor of the honorees.

See more photos on their Facebook page
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Metuchen-Edison-Gesher Chapter Holds Dinner Event with Mayor and Hadassah Israel Office Deputy Director

The Metuchen-Edison-Gesher Chapter in Metuchen, New Jersey held a dinner event last week where the community at large came to hear Barbara Goldstein, Deputy Director of the Hadassah Office in Israel, and wife of the Hazzan Emeritus of Neve Shalom. Ms. Goldstein reminded the group about securing Israel's continued existence as the Jewish homeland, the generation privileged to witness the third Jewish Commonwealth in our lifetime.

She was followed by the Mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, who grew up in Edison, in the very same the congregation, Neve Shalom. His current stands on mandatory sick leave, minimum wage rules and gay marriage made his talk refreshing and visionary. Chair of the evening, Aimee Braverman, said she "couldn't have been more pleased with the attendance or the speakers as they both charged us to keep up the important work that Hadassah does in Israel, in America and around the world."

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Boston Chapter Opens with "Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Heart" Program
Members of the Boston Chapter

At the Boston Chapter's Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program™ event

On Sunday, October 27, the Boston Chapter together with Healthworks Fitness Center in Chestnut Hill sponsored the chapter's opening program "Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Heart".

The group heard about Hadassah's new heart health initiative Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program™ and watched the Hadassah Video, featuring Professor Lotan, Dr. Zvat Zwas and National President Marcie Natan.

The Keynote Speaker was a young woman, Debbie Mikels, diagnosed at an early age with heart disease. Debbie, a Registered Occupational Therapist, shared her compelling story with the group.

"In retrospect, Heart Disease in women can manifest itself atypically... if you or someone you know have symptoms, especially if they seem to be related to activity or exercise, STOP, and contact your physician immediately. If I had contacted my doctor the day I had the discomfort on the treadmill, perhaps I could have avoided having a heart attack."

Afterwards, a Healthwork's Trainer explained to the group, how exercise could prevent heart disease. The group then increased their heart rate with Zumba and Yoga. The program concluded with healthy refreshments: Yogurtland fat free frozen yogurt with healthy fruit toppings, fresh fruit, low fat granola bars and water. The Boston Chapter is planning to host a series of other heart health programs during the year: a heart health walk in February in partnership with two local synagogues, a healthy cooking demonstration and a Mother and Child Scavenger Hunt in a local grocery store.

Read more about our Heart Health program here>>
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Charlotte Chapter Breaks Fundraising Records Celebrating the Ta-Tas

Event Chair Talia Goldman, Tamar Davis, National President Marcie Natan, Charlotte Chapter President Patricia Johnson, Immediate Past President Hadas Kasher, Region President Janice Bernstein
The Big Reveal audience

Donald Orenstein, Elise Orenstein, National President Marcie Natan, Dr. Arlene Sussman, guest speaker & director of breast imaging at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in New York, Talia Goldman, event chair, and Tamar Davis.
National President Marcie Natan speaking.

After Hadassah Magazine spotlighted the Charlotte Chapter's 2012 "Celebrate the Ta-Tas" event last year, Immediate Past President Hadas Kasher received calls from all over the country.

"...from California to Florida to Washington DC, Hadassah members across the country (wanted to) adopt the program as we did here in Charlotte," she said. "Celebrate the Ta-Tas is empowering the community by bringing hope, educating and raising funds to fight breast cancer."

"Knowing that our Hadassah sisters in other places are now sharing the hope is a testimonial to the power of Hadassah as national organization who empowering each and one of us to make the world a better place."

The Charlotte Chapter's monthlong "Celebrate the Ta-Tas" event included a comedy night, three painting days, t-shirt sales, and "The Big Reveal" headline fundraising event, where the photographed "Ta-Ta" artwork was sold last Thursday, on October 24.

Last year, the event broke the chapter's record of attendees and money fundraised. This year, the chapter broke those records again.

Patricia Johnson, the current chapter president, said the gross revenue from the Celebrate the Ta-Tas monthlong program is $42,000: about 30 percent of the chapter's quota. Their total revenue includes corporate and major donations and doesn't yet include the profits from selling the photos.

See more photos on their Facebook.

Order artwork.

Contact president@charlottehadassah.org for information on the program.

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Hadassah Doctor Gilad Hamdani Speaks to Cincinnati Chapter

Hostess Amy Perlman, Chapter President Bonnie Ullner, Dr Gilad Hamdani

The Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah hosted a Leading Gifts Dessert Reception on Wednesday, October 16th where Dr. Gilad Hamdani, Fellow, Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension from Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel was the guest speaker. He is one of several Hadassah physicians currently training at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as part of their Israel Exchange Program (IEP).

Cincinnati Chapter President Bonnie Ullner welcomed all of the guests and spoke of her families' appreciation of Hadassah Hospital in saving her daughter, Jessa's life. Bonnie explained the importance of well-functioning kidneys and the relationship to Wilson's disease.

Dr. Hamdani spoke about kidney function, how nephrology is related to hypertension, and how pediatric disorders differ from adult kidney diseases. His goal is to return to Hadassah's hospital and expand the Pediatric Nephrology Department there.

See more photos on their website.

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Hadassah Members Cook Meals for the Holidays

Members of the Camden County Chapter of Hadassah (NJ) partnered with volunteers from local synagogues, Cherry Hill B’nai Brith and AZA, and devoted their time and energy to prepare Rosh Hashanah dinners for local families. This year, 300 dinners have been cooked, frozen, and delivered to Jewish people in the area who are alone or needy.

Actively involved in this effort were Carol Charen of Mount Laurel, co-president of the Camden Chapter of Hadassah, and Hadassah’s community outreach chair, Becky Levy of Cherry Hill. They were doing what they love best: helping others.

“It’s a wonderful collaboration when groups like Hadassah can pull together with others and prepare delicious High Holy Day meals for families that need the help,” said Charen, who also is Vice President of Southern New Jersey Region. She and the other volunteers felt that they would be able to enjoy their holidays more knowing that those less fortunate also will enjoy the traditional foods of the Jewish New Year. The menu included baked apricot chicken, roasted potatoes, candied carrots, and even challah rolls with honey.

As Charen said, “Judaism teaches us that when you get, you should give back. And I hope to spend the rest of my life fulfilling that commitment.”

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Hadassah Members Participate in Rally

Hadassah of Greater Albuquerque and The Los Alamos Chapter recently participated in the rally to Protest Operation Rescue which took place at the Albuquerque Civic Plaza.

The rally supported women's healthcare providers, women's reproductive choice, and denounced the terrorist tactics of Operation Rescue against local abortion providers and the local New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum. It was estimated that a crowd of 200-300 participants were at the rally, including Hadassah members carrying Hadassah signs.

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Hadassah Reaching Out to Young Members

Hadassah Southern Arizona held an informational get-together on Sunday, Sept. 15 and invited women 45 years and younger to attend.

“There are a lot of younger people who are members but don’t really use their memberships. We’d like to get them to come out, get involved and make some positive changes in our local community and beyond,” says Raquel Arriola, the Hadassah Young Women chair. “We’re the younger generation — we need to be there to carry on the torch.”

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Orlando Chapter Pays Tribute to Special Volunteer

The opening meeting of the Orlando Chapter of Hadassah was held on Aug. 27 at Congregation Ohev Shalom, and it was a tribute to Bunny Rosen for her lifetime of service to Hadassah.

“Bunny Rosen is the heart of the Orlando chapter,” said Emily Rotenberg, chapter president. “We, the members, pay tribute to her today, for all she does to keep the organization running smoothly.”

Rosen oversees every aspect of the monthly meetings, awards brunch, the donor luncheon and Youth Aliyah Fashion Show. She is known for her perfection of any task she under takes, be it an event venue, a casual buffet or elegant meal, donor accounts, gathering of donations, an auction or drawing. Each project is wrapped in style, dignity and grace.

Mati Braun provided a concert in her honor following the luncheon.

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Westfield Chapter Views Holocaust Film

The Westfield Chapter of Hadassah held a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 2, atTemple Emanu-El, in Westfield, NJ. Dan Bauer, Director of Public and Community Relations for the McCarter Theater in Princeton, was the guest speaker.

Bauer has directed a documentary film, “Leben um zu sagen,” (“Live to Tell”) in which his grandmother Greta tells the story of the family’s escape from the Nazis in Vienna.

Growing up, Bauer was aware of some of the story of what his family had lived through, but as his grandmother approached her 100th birthday, he began to feel that his grandmother’s complete story needed to be told. With the help of family and friends, Bauer completed the 30-minute documentary which was screened at the meeting.

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B'yachad Group of Hadassah Southern California Hosts Annual Giving Party

On September 28, 2013 the B'yachad Group of Hadassah Southern California's Northern Area hosted an "Annual Givers" event to celebrate the women who have committed to a Chai Society, Silver Chai or Keepers of the Gate pledge. The dinner party with over 60 in attendance was complimented by a successful Silent Auction and a magician who entertained the guests with his strolling magic throughout the evening.

The husbands were able to meet each other and learn more about Hadassah which sparked two new Associate members in the group. Thirteen new Annual Givers signed up and two new Life Members.

The President of B'yachad, Fay Thaw, was honored by her board with the lovely Hadassah Southern California Woman of Valor certificate presented to her by the Northern Area Chair, Sandi Sadikoff and the Northern Area Annual Giving Chair, Debbie Kessler. The event was held at the home of B'yachad's fundraising chair and Northern Area's Chai Society Chair, Michelle Conwisar.

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Hadassah Hospital's Medical Clown Visits Cincinnati Chapter

The Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah's Opening Meeting and Dinner was held on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at Trio Bistro in Kenwood. David Barashi (also known as "Dush the Clown") spoke about the "Dream Doctors" Project.

The event was chaired by Holly Corbin Wolfson, Sherri Kim Symson, Ali Socol Bernstein and Tracy Levine. (photo attached) The event was attended by over 70 ranging in age from mid 20s to early 90s. Dush demonstrated how he makes a "red flower" for a pediatric patient with the help of everyone for the Cincinnati Chapter President, Bonnie Ullner. (photo attached)

The "Dream Doctors" medical clowns project was established in 2002 at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem Hospital. It has since grown from the original three clowns to 53 professional clowns working at 18 Israeli hospitals. Israel is considered a leader in professionalizing the field of medical clowning and providing scientific evidence for its effectiveness. One study conducted around the world showed that children treated with medical clowning recovered up to 30% faster.

David Barashi was in Cincinnati sharing his expertise with staff at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He received an undergraduate degree in nursing and theatre arts from the University of Haifa. He has treated children not only in Israel, but also in Haiti, Nepal and other locales devastated by natural disasters. He says that "clowning is a language that goes beyond borders, cultures, social status and religions, and is a universal language which makes it possible to communicate with anyone anywhere."

Hadassah doctors Shelly Ben Harush Negari and Gilad Hamdani, both training at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, were also in attendance, along with their families

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Kalamazoo Chapter Hosts First Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program Event

The first Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program ™ took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Kalamazoo Chapter, which normally attracts 10-20 members to a program, gathered over 60 women, men and children for a 3K walk Sunday, September 8. The primary goal was to start the Jewish New Year with a heart healthy activity as well as bring their community together. Another goal was to raise awareness on heart health issues and funds for Hadassah. There were corporate sponsors and private donations which amounted to over $2,000.

Read more about our Heart Health program here>>

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Metro Area Hosts Leadership Symposium

The 8 Regions of Hadassah's Metro Area hosted an extremely successful "Leadership Symposium: Lead Hadassah to Higher Ground" on October 6 at Skadden Arps in NYC attended by over 160 members and National President Marcie Natan. A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Metro Area Resource Chair Gail Hammerman from the Metro Area Region Presidents.

The speakers included: Hadassah President Marcie Natan, Consul for Media Affairs from the Israeli Consulate Shahar Azani and Jeff Wilcox, noted motivational speaker.

Pictured (left to right) are: Loren Roth, Pres. of Northern New Jersey Region; Rae Gurewitsch, Pres. of New York Region; Lorraine Richter, Pres. of Suffolk Region; Marcie Natan, Hadassah National President; Janet Young, Pres. of Brooklyn Region; Gail Hammerman, Metro Area Resource Chair; Viviane Kovacs, Pres. of Nassau Region; Caren Caplan, Pres. of Lower New York State Region and Deborah Wiskind, Pres. of Westchester Region.

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Springfield Chapter Featured at Local History Museum

Hadassah described in bottom paragraph & delegates marching for Yom haAtzmaut.

Certificate from the Keller family of Springfield in the early '20

On Sunday, September 29, there was the opening of an exhibit celebrating 100 years of Jewish life in Greater Springfield, MA at the Springfield Museum of History in which Springfield Chapter Members attended, as their chapter was featured at the museum.

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Rally to Support Reproductive Rights
Hadassah of Greater Albuquerque and the Los Almos Chapter

Hadassah of Greater Albuquerque and The Los Almos Chapter participated in a rally to support reproductive rights.

The rally held on the Albuquerque Civic Plaza, supported women's healthcare providers, women's reproductive choice, and denounced the tactics of anti-abortion activists against local abortion providers and the derision of the Holocaust, causing great angst at the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum.

The Albuquerque Journal estimated a crowd of 200-300 participants were at the rally among them many Hadassah members, with Hadassah signs to stand publicly for Hadassah's values.

Check out this article in the New York Times about the rally and see if you can spot some Hadassah members in the photos.

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‘Books on the Beach’ Welcomes Three Area Authors

The Rhode Island Chapter of Hadassah celebrated Hadassah’s 101st birthday on Tuesday, August 13, with its Third Annual Books on the Beach Author Luncheon. The event, which was held at the Atlantic Beach Club, in Newport, featured book talks by three distinguished local authors.

Guests Isabel & David Pollock enjoy Books on the Beach Day

The Providence-based husband-and-wife team, Hester Kaplan and Michael Stein, M.D., presented a unique program. Each author selected and read passages from the other’s book and discussed his or her choices with the audience. What it is like to have two authors, both recipients of many literary awards, living in the same house? Kaplan and Stein, who edit one another’s work, have learned to be brutally honest without being hurtful. Kaplan’s newest novel, The Tell, is a story of marriage, relationships, compulsion and culture. Stein’s The Rape of the Muse is a novel based on a true artwork rivalry and courtroom drama.

Boston-based Dale Stanten wrote a memoir of her childhood, “The Hooker’s Daughter – A Boston Family’s Saga.” It has been described as a study in human relations and emotions.

Books on the Beach proceeds support Hadassah programming.

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Czech Consul Introduces ‘Nicky’s Family’

Peter Rafaeli, honorary consul general for the Czech Republic, introduced a local screening of an award-winning film about a man whose story, he said, “transformed” his life.

Nicky’s Family was shown on Sunday, August 25, at Greenbriar at Whittingham in Monroe Township, NJ, at a program sponsored by Monroe Township Hadassah Associates and the Alisa and Monroe Hadassah Chapters.

Nicholas Winton with one of the children he rescued.

The documentary with dramatic reenactments is about Sir Nicholas Winton, a prosperous British businessman who in the late 1930s heard about the impending plight of the Czech Jewish community. He raced to the region and set about to save as many Jewish children as he could, arranging for families throughout the UK and elsewhere to adopt close to 700 youngsters. The children he rescued — most of whose parents and grandparents were killed by the Nazis — and their descendants, who now number in the thousands, reunite regularly and identify themselves as “Nicky’s Family.”

Winton, who is now 104, was “an ordinary citizen, a stockbroker, and a 29-year-old bachelor,” said Rafaeli, who, though not a member of “Nicky’s Family,” is himself a Czech Holocaust survivor. “He was ready to go skiing with a friend in Switzerland on Christmas vacation when the friend sent him a cable from Prague saying, ‘There are people here we can help.’ He dropped everything — his job, his life — to help and then kept quiet for 50 years.”

The film, which was released in 2011, has won over 30 awards at Jewish and international film festivals.

Rafaeli said he has long been committed to securing more recognition for Winton. In 2006, he convinced former President George W. Bush to send him a letter of citation. A year later a resolution in Winton’s honor introduced by the late Rep. Tom Lantos of California, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, was passed by Congress. In recent years, Winton has received other international accolades, and the film, which opened in New York and Los Angeles on July 19, has been generating a great deal of interest.

In 2008 the Czech Republic nominated Winton for a Nobel Peace Prize, and Rafaeli remains active in the ongoing international campaign to secure the honor for him.

When Winton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of his 104th birthday in April, Rafaeli was among the guests at the event in England.

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Each month we will bring you news of the events and programs of the local chapters and groups throughout the country. Share your success stories and facts in the areas of fundraising, education, membership and advocacy and help spark new ideas for others. Be sure to identify participants when you send photos. For more information contact Bobbi Kraft bkraft@hadassah.org.

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