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Hadassah Women Become Hokies for a Weekend

Southern Seaboard Region Travels to Virginia Tech to Support Students
Genever McBain

Southern Seaboard Region Travels to Virginia Tech to Support Students

(New York, NY -- September 11, 2007) -- In the shadow of the September 11th anniversary, Hadassah leaders acknowledged another American tragedy this past weekend when they traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to give comfort to Jewish students as they begin the new academic year at Virginia Tech. Some 60 members from Hadassah Southern Seaboard Region held their annual board meeting in the southwestern Virginia college town to show their solidarity with the students who had suffered so much when a deranged classmate killed more than 30 students and professors in April.

The group initiated contact with the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Student Life on campus shortly after the tragedy occurred. It was determined that rather than providing immediate comfort to the students that help in the future would be needed. The weekend before the high holidays was agreed upon.

A number of those participating in the events traveled on Friday so they could join the students for Shabbat dinner and services, with baked goods for the Oneg Shabbat homemade by the group. On Saturday, they attended morning services and met with members of the Blacksburg Jewish community throughout the day. Hillel students later conducted havdallah services and opened the board meeting with the Virginia Tech fight song.

At Friday night’s dinner, Mindy Bloom, president of Hadassah Southern Seaboard greeted the kids with: “You’re probably wondering, why are the Hadassah ladies here? We’re here because you’re here. We are here to be with you and to not only tell you, but to show you we care.”

As a demonstration of the connection they made with the students, Hadassah members presented the students with 300 of their own Virginia Tech/Hokie kippot in the school’s colors, orange and maroon.

“Early in our conversations with [Hillel Director] Sue Kurtz, we learned that there always seems to be a shortage of kippot around Hillel here at Tech. To remedy that situation, Hadassah Southern Seaboard proudly presents you with your very own kippot. Our wish is that you wear it for celebrations and happy occasions!” Bloom told the students.

Sunday’s highlight was a ceremony commemorating those lost in the attack. Certificates were presented both to the university and to Marlena Librescu (in absentia), widow of a slain professor, Liviu Librescu, acknowledging the 400 Jewish National Fund trees purchased by the Danville, VA chapter of Hadassah in memory of those slain.


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