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Hadassah Honors Nassau Region with American Affairs Award

Genever McBain


(New York, NY -- July 30, 2007) -- The Nassau Region of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, was awarded the National American Affairs/Domestic Policy Award at the organization’s 93rd National Convention in New York, New York. Cherie Feinberg and Professor Annette Labovitz organized the winning program.

The year-long program, which culminated in the region’s Education Day Symposium, included an investigation into the causes and effects of global warming, an exploration of how Jewish thought responds to global warming and the environment, and targeted media events to raise awareness within both the Jewish community and the general public. A fundraising and publicity campaign titled It Takes a Region to Change a Lightbulb! raised money to support the efforts of the Environmental Health Sciences Program at Hadassah College Jerusalem through the sale of fluorescent lightbulbs. Members were encouraged to replace their own lightbulbs at home, and chapters and groups targeted public buildings within their communities in a campaign to substitute at least one of their existing lightbulbs with energy efficient ones.

The advocacy component included letter writing campaigns to elected officials regarding pending environmental legislation and participation in an e-mail campaign initiated by Al Gore prior to his participation in Congressional hearings. Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” also was shown during the Nassau Region’s Lunch & Learn series. A number of speakers participated over the course of the program, including: Professor Annette Labovitz, who discussed the relationship of the Torah to the current environmental crisis; Alan Bernstein, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Professor Geula Sharf, of the Environmental Health Sciences Department at Hadassah College Jerusalem; and Richard Kassel, of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The American Affairs Award was created by Hadassah to honor the development of a comprehensive program of study and action related to public policy, education, advocacy, and American Jewish communities.

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