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Hadassah Honors Two Outstanding Leaders with the Judith Epstein Memorial Award

Genever McBain


(New York, NY -- July 30, 2007) -- Dafna Michaelson of the Desert-Mountain Region and Deborah Wiskind of the Westchester Region were awarded the Judith Epstein Memorial Award at the organization’s 93rd National Convention in New York, NY. Hadassah presents this honor each year to the young leader(s) whose community project successfully promotes Hadassah in a positive and meaningful way. The award was presented by Alecia Sachs, Chair of the National Young Leaders Advisory Council (NYLAC).

Dafna Michaelson created a Young Women's Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament to engage and educate young women about Hadassah. She developed a hostess Party Kit that provides all the ingredients for hosting a successful poker tournament, including blank invitations, suggested recipes to serve at the parties, instructions on how to play poker, an opening and closing Hadassah script, and a deck of playing cards that contains a Hadassah fact on each card and is titled "52 reasons to be proud of Hadassah." Individual poker parties were held throughout the region; winners received subsidies to attend the Region Mid-winter meeting in Las Vegas for the final tournament, and the tournament winner received a full subsidy to Convention in New York. Hadassah chapters garnered new members and donors, while each participant walked away knowing more about Hadassah.

Deborah Wiskind organized an event entitled “Suited for Success” that was held at a local hotel and included a cocktail party, a Hadassah speaker, a speaker on Domestic Violence, a well-known comedienne, and materials regarding Hadassah membership and fundraising opportunities. Prominent women within the community were solicited and readily donated suits, while corporate sponsorship almost entirely underwrote the event. The event brought in more than 500 suits, which were donated to an organization that helps disadvantaged women entering the work force. Hadassah garnered positive publicity through the event’s association with participating community leaders, which Deborah capitalized upon by creating a ten-month membership marketing campaign plan entitled "Go Hadassah.” Each of the 10 letters in Go Hadassah is affiliated with a month and represents an important Hadassah value: growth, opportunity, hope, aspire, diversity, advocacy, support, sisterhood, action, and healing.

The Judith Epstein Memorial Award was named for Judith Epstein, a past national president of Hadassah and an ardent advocate for young women. The award was created in 1991 to recognize the achievements of NYLAC representatives who initiate activities and events that bring visibility to Hadassah, as well as enroll and involve other young women.


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