A delegation of Southern New England joined almost 2,000 other members from across the US to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Hadassah in Jerusalem. Here are some quotes from National President, Marcie Natan, that beautifully summarize this amazing celebration:
"After the many months of brainstorming, planning and preparing, we came to Israel 1,700 strong. For three days we assembled and marched, we listened and questioned, we celebrated and looked with wonder at Hadassah’s impact on Jerusalem, Israel and the world.
For three days, a seemingly endless stream of buses brought convention delegates, 50 at a time, to see the 19-story state of-the-art inpatient center they had worked so hard to build. Guides escorted small groups into the corridors and rooms of the medical and surgical departments, through the tower’s healing gardens and family rooms, introducing them to patients, doctors and nurses.
The tower’s official dedication was on Tuesday night, at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. President Shimon Peres was among the luminaries who celebrated with us. “Generosity is more powerful than power,” he told a packed auditorium. “The State of Israel wouldn’t have survived without forces such as you. Thank you for your special contribution to the spirit and future of Israel.”
..Marching through central Jerusalem in our bright red Centennial T-shirts, we created a sea of red (if not quite the Red Sea), cheered and often joined by Jerusalem pedestrians, shoppers, tourists and storekeepers. Our parade route took us down the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and on to Jaffa Road..Borne along with music, balloons, flags and stilt-walkers, our destination was Safra Square, outside City Hall, where municipal staff came to their windows to applaud.
The Centennial Torch, lit at Henrietta Szold’s Mount of Olives grave two and a half years ago, was brought in by Hadassah Neurim graduate and Olympic hopeful Ilya Fodpolani. National Centennial Convention chair Miki Schulman declared the Convention open, Mayor Nir Barkat (clad in a Hadassah T-shirt), welcomed us as “shareholders in Jerusalem,” and we sang and danced in the square, accompanied by Young Judaeans on Year Course, and participants from our Youth Aliyah villages.
Three hectic days later, that exuberance was undimmed, and the atmosphere
at the night’s closing ceremony sizzled. We proudly watched on the giant screens
the stories of three people whose lives we helped change (through our medical center, Youth Aliyah and Young Judaea)..We saluted past-National President—and living Hadassah treasure—Bernice Tannenbaum,who chaired our 50th anniversary convention and is only 13 months younger than Hadassah itself.
We rose as one to greet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recipient of this year’s Henrietta Szold Award, (who) in turn, paid tribute to us: “It
was my father who told me: If you want to understand the power of women, look at Hadassah. [In your] 100 years of partnership in building the Jewish
state, you have always been there and you have made such a difference.”
We are the proud heirs of a handful of women whose passion, determination,
focus, vision and faith in their mission launched a movement that proved
pivotal in building Israel and catalyzed the role of women in American
Jewish life. I look with optimism to what we will achieve in our second 100
years.- Marcie Natan, National President.