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Message from the President

Shalom Hadassah Friends!
As the long days of summer come to an end, we’re looking forward to the next four months filled with our Hadassah chapter’s activities. I’ll be attending the Fall Board Meeting of the Desert Mountain Region in Denver on September 6 and 7. Tower Talk Day is on September 14. Our major fund raiser is the Hadassah Golf Open on October 26 and our monthly luncheon meetings will be on October 12, November 16 and December 7. Our new luncheon location is at Skyline Country Club.

Marlene Zoloto (Membership Vice-President) and I attended Hadassah’s 97th National Convention on July 21-23 in Las Vegas, along with over 700 Hadassah members and Associates from across America. The convention was overshadowed by the conflict in Israel, as the situation was foremost on everyone’s mind. The Henrietta Szold Award, Hadassah’s highest honor, is bestowed in recognition of dedicated service to the Jewish people, to Israel and to humanity. Fittingly, this year, the award was presented to the ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES MEDICAL CORPS, known the world over for selfless acts of bravery and compassion. A member of the Israeli Defense Forces had accepted the award and gave an emotional acceptance speech.

The three-day convention was filled with lectures, workshops, programs and inspiration. The first morning began with a Shacharit Service, which included a moving prayer for the Israel Defense Forces. The Hadassah National Business Meeting focused on a vote for the national slate of officers and the National Board, as well as budget and policy statements. Professor Avraham Rivkind, MD, Head of the Department of General Surgery and the Shock Trauma Unit, spoke of the challenges he and his associates face daily. He reported that missiles directed at HMO at Ein Kerem in July were deflected by the Iron Dome. Dr. Rivkind praised Hadassah for the money we raise so that HMO can continue with cutting-edge medical care and research.

The list of speakers included Bret Louis Stephens, Pulitzer Prize winner, Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Deputy Editorial Page Editor of the Wall Street Journal, and Avi Shavit, journalist at HaAretz and author of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel who spoke about Israel and the Middle East. Mindy Bloom, Hadassah National Vice-President, presided at “Be Involved – Social Action/Tikkun Olam” with guests representing local and national not-for-profit organizations. Gil Troy, Professor of History at McGill University in Montreal and a Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Engaging Israel Program in Jerusalem, conducted an inspiring session: “Zionism...It’s Not a Dirty Word.”

Daniel Silva, New York Times #1 best-selling author of the Gabriel Allon Series was interviewed by his wife, Jamie Gangel, a former NBC News award-winning correspondent.

Cancer survivor and former HMO patient, Shahar Israel, was called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at an emotional ceremony during the convention.

Honestly, I could fill this entire Chai Lites with interesting information from the convention! For more details about the convention, please go to www.hadassah.intranet.org and in the “search” box type in “convention 2014.”

This convention was an opportunity to be enlightened, educated and invigorated by Hadassah’s mission. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by your Hadassah workload (at times it seems that you’re volunteering 24/7), remember that your contribution is priceless and that people you’ll never meet are in better health and alive because of your efforts. Our chapter needs more members to step up and volunteer to be on the Board, to chair committees, to assist at luncheon meetings, and to participate at fundraising events and on special interest groups. You’ll find the names and phone numbers of Board members you may contact throughout this newsletter.

On behalf of your Hadassah Southern Arizona Board, I’m extending our good wishes to you for a meaningful High Holy Day experience as we move into the New Year of 5775.

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatenu!

Corinne Forti


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