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The Jerusalem Netletter: 5772 Hanukkah 4-5 2011

By Barbara Sofer

Which blessing do you say first? The rule in Judaism is that the blessing you say more often comes first. Hence you might think that you say the blessing over the Shabbat candles before the Hanukkah blessings. Wrong. The minute we light Shabbat candles, we can't light anymore, so the Hanukkah candles must be lit first. In practical terms, the Hanukkah lights will be glowing all around Jerusalem before 4 pm today. A sight to behold. There will be a mass rush on donuts-sufganiot-as people acquire a double portion for Shabbat.

This week we marked ten years of the Clinical Masters Program at the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine. The program was dedicated to the memory of Eastern Pennsylvania Region President Muriel and Phillip Berman who supported this program. Present was their daughter Nancy Berman, son-in-law Alan Bloch, and granddaughter Jo. Appropriately, much of the day was devoted to the fascinating research being conducted by these leading nurses. Particularly noteworthy was a paper showing that weight-loss in extremely sick patients needs to be addressed far earlier in the therapeutic process than formerly thought necessary. Mazal Tov to Nursing Dean Dr. Miri Rom and her colleagues. With great wisdom, Hadassah began our hands-on work in pre-state Israel by creating a cadre of top flight nurses. 400 women applied for the first class of 40 in 1918. We have maintained leadership and look forward to the time when we have a PhD nurses program, too.

The Bermans were also important art patrons, helping Israeli artists to create and market their works. Yesterday, I was at the dedication of three magnificent art works by the Berman-Bloch family at Hadassah College. In the library-excuse me-"the information center" is a huge, colorful canvas by the late Mordechai Ardon called "Clouds over Jerusalem." Magnificent. I was thinking that we usually think of clouds as worry, but in Israel, clouds also bring the promise of much-needed rain. We're expecting heavy rain this Shabbat Hanukkah-a sign of blessing indeed. With that in mind, we send you blessings for your own Shabbat Hanukkah wherever you are,

Audrey Shimron, Director, Barbara Goldstein Deputy Director Hadassah Offices in Israel And me,

Barbara Sofer
Israel Director of Public Relation
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America Jerusalem

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