Dear Elena Herskowitz, National Director, Membership & Community Development Division; The Hadassah Selection Committee; Caralie Cole, Operations Manager, Ayelet Tours, Lld.; Sherry Keller, Tour Leader, Hadassah So. New Jersey; Shelley Kaplan, National Service, Major Gifts Vice Chair; Barbara Goldstein, Deputy Director, Hadassah Office in Israel; Barbara Sofer, Director of Public Relations and Communications, Hadassah Office in Israel; Yishay, our Tour Guide “extraordinaire”; Carrie, our wonderful Group Hostess “go-to-person”, David, our talented bus driver; and, Laura Kaplansky, “my” HSC Executive Director:
Our first grandchild Ella Jordyn Berkowitz was born on December 14, 2007 and Hadassah had a new Membership Campaign for Israel’s 60th Birthday from January-May 2008. Who knew that Ella’s Life Membership and my 60 words about “What Hadassah means to me?” would make me a winner for an amazing Hadassah Mission trip to Israel?!! As I shared my “60 words” with my “Hadassah sisters” at the dinner table in Jerusalem, I felt them came alive with an even strong meaning: “Hadassah has enriched my life for over 20 years, weaving a tapestry of friendships, camaraderie, exposure to historical and educational sights, learning and leading my group while feeling the golden strand that ties me to Israel and the pride of promoting and aiding all of Hadassah’s projects. With happiness I pass this legacy to my newborn granddaughter – the fourth generation.”
My husband Marty and I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for participating in making this wonderful gift of a lifetime happen for us! We had the pleasure of seeing Israel 14 years ago for our son’s Bar Mitzvah and since then, my involvement, interest and commitment to Hadassah and Israel have grown. This “adult trip” allowed us to see first-hand all of the Hadassah projects and how Israel has grown and developed in a very brief time. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but seeing 4 of the Hadassah projects “up close and personal” is worth even more! From the Ein Kerem Hospital that takes care of everyone with an illnesses to catastrophic health events; to the children at Meir Shefeyah who haven’t been given “a fair shake at childhood” but have a second chance in their wonderful new home/school/campus; to Young Judea’s year-course students who are privileged to experience Israel through education, travel and volunteerism; and, to Hadassah College Jerusalem students that are taught skills that will provide them with a living while aiding their society for years to come, each Hadassah project amazed us and filled us with pride. Marty and I have been blessed to see all of this first-hand and look forward to actively “spreading the word of Hadassah” to all those we come in contact with. Hadassah is indeed “building the future” on so many fronts!
Thank you all for having set this magical experience of a lifetime in motion for us, by selecting my 60 words at the time of Israel’s 60th Birthday. The history of Israel came alive for us once again and Hadassah’s part in building a strong country filled us with enormous pride. Where once we were strong Hadassah participants, we are now “activists”. Thank you for giving us this extraordinary opportunity to see Israel and Hadassah working hand-in-hand to build a better future for all.
With shalom, appreciation and much love,
Randee and Marty Leffler – 818-905-0348; firstname.lastname@example.org ; HSC – Metro – Tikvah Group