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Emily Sterling is paying forward her gift of Life Membership in Hadassah to new college graduates, and is donating $25,000 to Hadassah to establish a special project: 100 graduation gifts of Life Membership (women) or Associate (men) Enrollment in Hadassah.
A chance gift of a Life Membership to Hadassah from her mother set an important course for Emily Sterling’s adult life. As a young woman, pregnant with her son, and looking for a life direction in New York City, Sterling used this gift to meet other like-minded young women and strengthen her Jewish identity and commitment to Israel. As an idea that just came to her out of the blue, Sterling hopes to ignite that same spark in young women (and men as Associates) college students in Virginia. And so she is offering up to 100 graduation gifts of Life Membership in Hadassah to any student graduating from a Virginia college or university.
Sally Goldberg, Richmond Chapter copresident said, “We are proud and excited that this brand new venture is a first, and has never been offered at any other Hadassah chapter in the U.S. We hope that lots of students take advantage of the generous offer. We hope it may become a model for other chapters around the country. With this generosity, Emily is paying it forward. She sees this as a legacy gift for others. Her family has a history of supporting Israel and Jewish causes.”
Sterling said, “as an only child, my mother always did a lot for me in my life. But this (gift of Life Membership) was one of the nicest most special things she ever did. It sticks in my mind and my heart.” She continued, “It was really life changing and life affirming. As a young woman, I couldn’t have asked for anything else better in my life- not a trip or jewelry or anything monetary.”
Sterling hopes through this gift to others, “maybe there is another me out there or a 100 me’s or 1000 who will get that same spark and do something with it.” She said she didn’t know what she was looking for until she had this connection with Hadassah and the women she met and the causes that she served for her people. “My mother gave me the way to start this commitment and it gives me great pleasure to give it to others on behalf of my family before me,” she says with great pride.
This gift is valued at $212. There are absolutely no strings attached. Students (male or female) who would like to receive a free life membership, (or associate), should notify Co-Membership Vice Presidents Elaine Ragone or Beth Rochkind or project chairman Janie Schwarz. All three can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to apply for the Sterling Gift