|Twenty six floors above what was once the emergency room of Hadassah's
Tel Aviv Hospital, nearly 300 captains of industry and commerce,
government officials and veteran Tel Aviv residents saluted a century of
Hadassah's contribution to Israel. Before those who had joined them in
the penthouse of Lev Ha'ir highrise residence, the building's developers
Eliezer Fishman and Ronit Porat, of the Fishman Group and its daughter
company Oneal, raised a toast to the "pioneering, amazing women of
"As developers, we can appreciate how much effort goes into huge
projects," said Porat, a civil-engineer and one of Israel's leading
women in the construction field.
Israel's chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger and Chief Sephardic Rabbi
Shlomo Amar brought warm words of appreciation and blessings for
continued success. Rabbi Metger spoke of the "righteous women of
Hadassah" who model the act of giving, and Rabbi Amar said Hadassah's
work was "at the heart of the people of Israel and the entire world."
Said American Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham, "This is a
tremendous day. It's really an unusual concept to have so many people
combined around the world in so many places sharing a common goal and a
common creed. All the people who are involved in this work are really to
be congratulated for it. It really is the sharing and caring that makes
it so special."
Incoming National President Marcie Natan thanked the hosts and the many
guests who had promised them all the opportunity to tour the Sarah
Wetsman Davidson Tower. "It will serve all of Israel, and the future
will bring more fabulous collaboration between you and us."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he couldn't imagine Jerusalem without
Hadassah and sketched his plan for Jerusalem's development built around
utilizing Hadassah's scientific and biotech prowess.
In 1995, the land on which Hadassah Hospital of Tel Aviv first stood was
purchased by the Fishman Group to build Rova Lev Ha'ir, a luxurious
26-storey high-rise. Because of the historical significance of the
location, the Fishman Group postponed its dedication of the building to
combine it with the launch of Hadassah's Centennial. The penthouse suite
looks out over a vast panorama of Tel Aviv, historic buildings and
daring skyscrapers where there were only sand dunes in 1909. Hadassah
established hospitals and clinics all around pre-state Israel, including
Tel Aviv, where Hadassah opened a hospital in1921. With statehood in
1948, Hadassah turned all over the clinics and and hospitals to the
government, except for the flagship hospital in Jerusalem. Hadassah
had to leave its Mount Scopus campus for security reasons, and in 1961,
opened Hadassah Ein Kerem. After the reunification of Jerusalem in the
Six Day War, Hadassah renovated its original campus. Hadassah is
Jerusalem's largest private employer. More than 20,000 persons visit the
campuses of the two Jerusalem hospitals, Hadassah College and Young
Judaea programs every day.
Yossi Rosen, chair of the Hadassah Medical Center Board of Directors,
emphasized the cooperation between Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO)
and Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA) in the
building of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in Jerusalem,
Rosen praised the women of Hadassah, headed by the National Board, for
making dreams into reality. "They deserve the thanks on behalf of all
the people of Israel."
And in welcoming the incoming HMO director general Professor Ehud Kokia,
Rosen used the Biblical transfer of leadership as a paradigm. "With a
little help from Moses, Joshua is going to turn the new Tower into a
center of excellence."
Professor Mor-Yosef took advantage of the celebratory platform also to
praise the dedication of the women of Hadassah, particularly those he
has met on his many trips to US chapters here women of even modest
financial means are willing to contribute to the building of Hadassah's
A long message of appreciation for Hadassah's groundbreaking role in
the history of Zionism and the State of Israel, as well as wishes for
future success arrived from President Shimon Peres, who wasn't able to