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HAPPY YOM YERUSHALAYIM TO ALL

Barbara Sofer reports from Jerusalem:

Jerusalem Day brought 30,000 young people into the city for a march and street-dance with flags. The day of celebration marking 45 years since the reunification of the city in the Six Day War was capped by a light and music-filled ceremony in David's Tower at which Mayor Nir Barkat and the city of Jerusalem bestowed the title of Yakir Yerushalayim--Valued Citizen of Jerusalem on 12 Jerusalemites. This year, three of the twelve were members of the Hadassah family.

Judith Steiner-Freud was the head of Hadassah's Nursing School and is the person who pushed hardest to turn Israeli nursing into a proper academic profession. She still works a full day as the coordinator of the Nursing Alumni Association. I recommend that you have lunch with her or 4-o'clock coffee and cake (she never misses) when you are next in Israel. Steiner-Freud, (related to Sigmund) was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1919. That's right, she's going on 93. As a teenager growing up in a Zionist family she wanted to make Aliyah and was fortunate to get a study permit from the Hebrew University to study nursing. You'll remember that the British were not allowing free immigration of Jews despite the rise of Nazism. She never saw her parents again. Steiner-Freud was teaching on April 13, 1948 when the Hadassah convoy was attacked. She heard the shooting and continued teaching. "A war was coming and I knew that every Hadassah nurse would be needed," she said. She knew many of the 78 doctors, nurses, and patients who were murdered.

Retired Professor Hillel Blondhein is best known in Jerusalem for the diet unit he set up as a professor of metabolism. He made Aliyah from the New York in 1951 despite the hard conditions of the early 50's when food was rationed. He's 94.

Miriam Griver was born in Hungary in 1941, a time when Jews were already being persecuted in Hungary. She survived the Shoah as a child, and has lived in both in Dallas, where she was active in Hadassah, and in Jerusalem, where she served as President of Hadassah-Israel. Her volunteer work includes both work with Holocaust survivors and in women's health promotion. She's particularly well-known for bringing Hadassah's professionals to communities where women don't take advantage of center-based breast checks—for immigrant and foreign workers. 

Our own President of Hadassah College—Professor Nava Ben Zvi was among the distinguished Jerusalemites on the committee to evaluate nominations. It was a night to feel proud of Jerusalem and of Hadassah!

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