Barbara Goldstein, Deputy Director of the Hadassah Office in Israel, presents a gift from Hadassah of a laptop to Sam, a refugee from Eritrea who graduated last year and today is enrolled in college studying Criminology. As a young man separated from his parents, and without a country, Meir Shfeyah and Hadassah are his family.
As usual, the Meir Shfeyah graduation was emotional and beautiful. Ninety five young men and women standing proud and tall. It was impossible to tell the pnimiyah (resident students) and Zichron Ya'akov commuting students apart.
Whatever cultural and socio-economic differences exist, they all stood together, moving on to the next journey in their lives—the Israel Defense Forces. We in Hadassah can stand proud of our role in being part of the building of the next generation of young people to take their place in Israeli society. That's what each of us in HWZOA makes possible.
Another moving moment was the speech by the representative of the parents. As an Ethiopian, her daughter is the first generation Israeli.
She spoke of the promise Meir Shfeyah made to her four years ago, that her daughter would be taken care of and succeed in the village. "As a mom", she said, "that was my dream—and my dream is fulfilled tonight, seeing the glow on my daughter's face. Thank you Meir Shfeyah, thank you to the women of Hadassah"
Barbara Goldstein shares:
"For me personally each graduation I attend is part of my own journey. Who would have imagined 54 years ago that I Barbara Ruskin, National Vice President of Jr. Hadassah, having lived and worked at Shfeyah for two weeks, would devote my life to the service of the Jewish people through Hadassah?
Each time I enter Meir Shfeyah's gates which say 'maintained by Junior Hadassah of America 1925-1958' I feel the presence of Henrietta Szold who gave the responsibility of this village to Junior Hadassah.
Each of us has the privilege of being part of Henrietta Szold's legacy, expressed daily in the ahavah rabbah prayer, 'Lilmod U Lelamed'; Grant us discernment and understanding, help us to study and learn, and to lovingly teach. Bring us safely from the four corners of the earth to our land'. That is the gift of being part of Hadassah and fulfilling Zionism. "