PRESS CONFERENCE, APRIL 28, 2010
Cooperation has been a jewish value since the twelve tribes of set out for a free and independent life in their own land.
Throughout history, jewish communities overcame great obstacles to achieve success in societies where they were not fully welcome. But it was in democratic societies, where neighbors and fellow citizens offered respect and cooperation, that jews have always made their greatest contributions.
So it is with pride and satisfaction that I represent Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, today, as we begin a great collaborative effort. Indeed, given the members of this partnership, I am tempted to say that it is an association conceived in heaven.
But it is the way we empower ourselves on earth that will allow us to achieve our goal. It is by combining our strength that we will create a perfect storm that will overwhelm a terrible disease.
The battle against breast cancer has been long and hard, but today highlights both the progress we have made, the hope we have for success and our determination to achieve that success before this illness can claim more lives.
The first race for the cure event in Israel brings together Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Hadassah and the city of jerusalem. I can¹t imagine a better triumvirate for any cause. It’s an alignment that makes perfect sense.
Jersualem is our home. It is where Hadassah began its medical work in 1913.
In jewish tradition, it is a place of spiritual healing. On Hadassah¹s watch, it is a place of scientific healing. It was in jerusalem that Hadassah researchers led the campaign to find the brca1 gene.
So it is with great pride that I stand here with mayor nir barkat, a friend and partner who works tirelessly to achieve a harmonious balance between jerusalem’s spiritual importance to the world and its development as a modern city of science, culture and education.
And it is with equal pride and appreciation that we are partnering with susan g. Komen for the cure. I don’t know another organization with which we share so many values.
I am honored to stand with ambassador nancy brinker, who is a wonderful example of how one person can change the world. As a loving and dedicated sister, she has channeled all her knowledge and experience into a grassroots campaign to protect everyone¹s sister, mother and daughter.
As a leader and pioneer, she reminds me of Hadassah’s founder, Henrietta Szold.
And I am delighted that this event is taking place in washington, capital of the nation that enables its citizens to accomplish so much good‹and just a short distance from henrietta szold’s birthplace in baltimore.
One more thing: I am delighted to add to whatever confusion comes from a stage that has two Nancys and two Hadassahs.
Breast cancer knows no boundaries, and that is how we are confronting it.
Everyone is impacted: americans, russians and chinese, israelis, palestinians and jordanians, muslims, christians and jews. The Hadassah medical organization brings to this partnership not only a wealth of experience in cancer treatment, detection and research, but also a tradition of ignoring tense borders to treat people on both sides of one of the world¹s oldest unresolved disputes.
For us, politics stops at the hospital door. While traditional diplomacy has yet to bring peace, healthcare diplomacy is an everyday reality.
In the same way, susan g. Komen for the cure knows no borders in its effort to end breast cancer. Its races for the cure are held in america and greece, in brazil and bosnia, and many other nations. Five days prior to this year’s inaugural race in israel, the race will come to the pyramids of giza.
The women of Hadassah look forward with great anticipation to hosting the race for the cure in jerusalem. Not only can you count on the organizing efforts of Hadassah-Israel, you can also be sure that our membership in america and members of Hadassah-International groups around the world will bring attention to the cause. We will also enlist the collaboration of other ngos.
Like the grassroots troops of susan g. Komen for the cure, the women of Hadassah will harness the power of individuals who want to make a difference, and multiply it.
Like the 12 tribes that established our tradition of cooperation, this is one collective effort we will be proud to undertake as they did, on foot.
We are all here today because there is something wrong in the world, something that we have to repair. Working together, finding more and more partners, we will surely reach our goal.