Shalom Hadassah Friends!
The Jewish Year of 5775 has begun. September 24th through October 17th were filled with our Holy Days and Holidays. I trust that each of you had a meaningful experience throughout this time.
On September 6th & 7th, I attended the Desert Mountain Region’s Fall Board Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The Desert Mountain Region consists of 18 Hadassah Chapters in eight Western States. Reports were given by the Presidents of each Chapter. Lori Lasson from National Hadassah’s Planned Giving & Estates gave a presentation. The new eMember membership category was announced. This membership is geared to women who are “big on caring and short on time”. For a $100 membership fee, an eMember can participate, through closed Facebook and LinkedIn groups, with other like-minded women who take pride in their Jewish connection. The UPLIFT PROJECT, a national bra decorating activity to promote breast cancer awareness, was announced. Chapters were encouraged to organize events in their area. This is a great way to become involved in our Chapter! Marci Natan, Hadassah’s National President, challenged our Desert Mountain Region to the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, donating money for ALS research and also a matching donation to Hadassah. Cathy Olswing, Anne Lowe and myself took the chilling challenge, along with 15 other Region members. Brrrrrrrr!
Naomi Farahan of Carmel, Indiana, and a life member of Hadassah, received the highly selective Hadassah Leaders of Tomorrow Award this year. Naomi spent five weeks this summer traveling in Israel under the Young Judaea’s Discovery Program. To quote Naomi: “My Jewish identity no longer exists because it’s expected of me, but because I experienced it. Because I breathe it and because I feel it in everything I do…I now have a much better grasp of what Zionism means to me. As part of the Discovery program, I gained the proper tools to speak out as an advocate for my home. I am a more realistic, knowledgeable ambassador for Israel….thank you to Young Judea and Hadassah for such an important journey. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life.”
As you can tell by reading Naomi’s testimony, Hadassah nurtures opportunities for growth and learning that will produce the leaders of tomorrow. Our Hadassah Southern Arizona Chapter is 1,032 members strong. Many of these members are young women, who we trust will come forward to take a leadership role.
Fortunately, for our Hadassah Southern Arizona Chapter, I’m happy to report that we reached and even went far above the monetary fund raising goals set for us by National Hadassah for 2014. Our National goal was $100,000 and the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower goal was $17,000. Because of our members, always speaking about Hadassah to everyone they meet, our goals became a reality. In the words from that famous song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”…..dreams that we dare to dream really do come true! There is no beginning and no end to what we, our Hadassah members can do together.
I have had the honor of being your Co-President in 2013 and President in 2014. And so, I’m sending a huge THANK YOU to my Board members for all of their dedication, support and advice over the past two years. In closing, I’m challenging all Hadassah Southern Arizona members to step up and volunteer in order to keep our Chapter vibrant, committed and focused. The future of Hadassah depends on ALL our members coming forward and volunteering, in any capacity. Please keep in mind that if you are a Life Member, your commitment didn’t end there…we still need your ideas, time and energy. We are all in this TOGETHER!
May you all be blessed with sudden insights, inspiration, strength, courage and good health and may you help build the world you have always wanted for yourself and others.
With many thanks and much Shalom,