(New York, NY -- August 17, 2005) -- A newly established program at Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is capturing the attention and imagination of its young leaders and donors: in one day at the recent annual convention, Take a Stand! raised $180,000. Designed to allow women, 45 and under, to put their Jewish values to work, Take a Stand! offers participants the opportunity to advocate on behalf of stem-cell funding and research in the United States and support the state-of-the-art Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
For varying donation amounts – beginning at $360 a year (just under a dollar a day) – young women can target their giving to Take a Stand! and become a member of its Advocacy Corps. Those involved will receive frequent e-mail updates about important issues, events and legislation related to stem-cell research; will lead community members to meet with local officials to advocate on behalf of favorable stem-cell legislation; will represent Hadassah in coalition with other local groups that support stem-cell research, and will present educational programs for community members.
“We want to give young women in the Jewish community the opportunity to take action. This is the group that is considered ‘the sandwich generation.’ Every one of them knows someone whose child has just been diagnosed with diabetes or whose parent has Parkinson’s. They are frequently the caregivers to those with debilitating diseases that can be alleviated, or even eradicated, through advanced medical research,” said Shelley Sherman, national chair for Young Founders. “By both advocating for favorable stem-cell legislation in the U.S. and supporting the scientific developments at our hospitals in Israel, these women can make a difference in the lives of their relatives and friends.”
Hadassah, the largest women’s organization in the U.S., is the leading proponent in the Jewish community of embryonic stem-cell research and funding. This past spring, in the largest advocacy effort of the organization’s 92-year history, Hadassah delegations visited 50 state capitals to urge their legislators to pass favorable legislation. And, just recently, some 1,800 Hadassah delegates to Hadassah’s national convention visited Congressional representatives from 37 states in Washington, DC, holding more than 150 meetings to encourage favorable stem-cell legislation, among other issues of concern.
At Hadassah’s Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Jerusalem, scientists continue to conduct cutting-edge research on some of the oldest stem-cell lines approved by the National Institutes of Health and are leading the way in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease by utilizing stem cells to generate dopaminergic neurons. They recently succeeded in showing that human embryonic stem cells can improve the functioning of a laboratory rat with Parkinson's Disease.
For more information about Take a Stand!, please call (866) 229-2395 or e-mail, Youngwomen@Hadassah.org.