FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On Tuesday, the National Board of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, reaffirmed the statement it made in 2000 in support of stronger gun control legislation and expanded it to call for a ban on assault weapons. The reaffirmation came as part of Hadassah's winter board meeting, held in West Palm Beach, Fla., and on the same day as yet another school shooting, this time on the grounds of the North Harris Campus of Lone Star College in Houston.
"Over a decade ago, when we released our gun control statement in 2000, Hadassah recognized that gun control laws did not go far enough—nor were enforced rigorously enough—to help prevent the incidents of violence that continue to plague our schools, workplaces and communities," said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan. "In recent months and years, we have seen too many of these tragedies, and it is time that our nation takes all necessary action to enact laws that will protect our citizens – and especially our children – from such violence."
In response to the tragic events in Newtown, Conn., last month, Hadassah launched a campaign to plant trees in the Be'er Sheva River Park in Israel to honor the memory of the victims of the shooting. To date, Hadassah has collected donations to plant 4,400 trees. Natan planted the first tree, a mulberry, during a trip to Israel in late December.
"Trees are a Biblical symbol of life, and the saplings donated will bloom, grove after grove, in the memory of the Newtown children and their teachers whom the Newtown community lost so tragically and so suddenly," Natan said of the initiative. "The roots of this mulberry tree will take root in the desert soil, produce fruit, and give shade and comfort to all those who visit the park."
Last week, Hadassah joined with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), of which Hadassah is a member, in welcoming the White House's recommendations for Congressional and executive action to curb gun violence.
"Signaling a seriousness of intent to address all components of preventing gun violence, the President's recommendations reflect the comprehensive approach that we and thousands of others have been calling for," said JCPA Chair Larry Gold, in a statement released January 16. "While we appreciate that the President seeks all available courses of action, the most successful strategy is a comprehensive legislative solution passed with the cooperation of both parties in Congress."
Hadassah is also a co-sponsor of the JCPA petition, Zichronam Livracha: For their memory shall be a blessing, which advocates for a comprehensive approach to prevent gun violence that addresses access to guns and ammunition, mental health care and violence in American culture. Over 16,000 people have signed the petition at www.endgunviolencenow.org.
Hadassah is a longtime supporter of gun control legislation, including the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Hadassah is also a strong proponent of expanding and improving mental health services to ensure that those affected by mental illness – and their families – can access needed care.
Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating its 100th year. Hadassah is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States. 330,000 members strong, Hadassah is entering its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women's empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.
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Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating its 100th year. Hadassah is a volunteer women's organization, whose members are motivated and inspired to strengthen their partnership with Israel, ensure Jewish continuity, and realize their potential as a dynamic force in American society. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.
Date: 1/23/2013 12:00:00 AM