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The Jerusalem Netletter: Hanukkah 5772, December 2011

Sixth Light
Barbara Sofer

You're right-we skipped a night. You probably realized that I wouldn't send a tele-Netletter while it was still Shabbat in the US.

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower together with Moira and Jim Taubenfeld. Moira is the President of Puerto Rico Hadassah, and the family is celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of their son Ben in Israel tomorrow. Did I say family? More than 80 members of the Puerto Rico Jewish community-that's about a tenth of the community--- have arrived for the simcha. What's more, many of them have taken part in the Young Judaea Year Course like Moira and so-far two of the Taubenfeld children, nieces and nephews. It was fun touring with Moira and Jim who both know a lot about building. We took the first working indoor elevator to the fifth floor, where orthopedics and urology will be moved as early as March. Moira inspected a panel of glass, comparing it to what she needed for her own hurricane-proof windows in San Juan. Moira also admired the handwork of the stone-layers creating the walls around the elevators. Three masons rushed to pose with the comely Hadassah president, and it turned out that all of them are from the little town of Bethlehem. Suddenly, we realized it was December 25th, Jim Taubenfeld's birthday, but also the birthday of someone else, born in Bethlehem. You forget about that other winter holiday when you are in Jerusalem.

On the other hand, Moira and Jim admired the huge Hanukkah menorah in the Menda Promenade, named by their friends and neighbors Nelson and Brenda Menda, and stocked up on fresh Hanukkah donuts to treat their guests back at the hotel. The Puerto Rico delegation met up tonight with the parents' tour of the current Young Judaea Year Course. What fun to be in Jerusalem for Hanukkah!

Touring with Moira and Jim reminded me of a day in Hadassah Hospital when I was touring with community members from Hawaii. We were standing in the Berezdivan Corridor, also named for generous donors from Puerto Rico. Many Puerto Rican Jews came there from Cuba. I looked up and saw a member of Hadassah Philippines. I had the giddy sensation that the Hadassah message had spread to all the islands over the world.

Think of Hadassah's international outreach as you light your Hanukkah candles tonight!

Audrey Shimron, Director, Barbara Goldstein Deputy Director Hadassah Offices in Israel and Barbara Sofer,Israel Director of Public Relation

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America Jerusalem

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