WITH ISRAEL IN CRISIS, HADASSAH RESPONDS FROM THE HEART IN SOLIDARITY
(New York, NY – July 27, 2006) – Even though Hadassah’s annual national conventions are planned months and even years in advance, the largest women’s organization in the U.S. is able to shift on a dime when necessary. That is exactly what happened in Nashville, TN this week when some 2,000 delegates from all over the United States convened with Israel in crisis as the backdrop.
Three major initiatives were announced during the course of three days that express Hadassah’s steadfast and unfailing solidarity with the Jewish state: Hadassah has undertaken an emergency fundraising campaign to serve those affected by the crisis; Hadassah has organized an emergency solidarity mission to the North of Israel, August 7-11; summer program participants of Young Judaea, Hadassah’s Zionist youth movement, have initiated their own emergency campaign to raise IS100,000 for Israeli kids in the North.
“We are meeting at a time when Israel is foremost in our minds,” National President June Walker told the delegates. “It is not always going to be convenient to speak up for Israel, to make fundraising calls, but it is more convenient than living in a shelter in Haifa. It’s more convenient than crawling on all fours to avoid ambush or to destroy a terrorist bunker. We never have to wring our hands to ask how to help Israel,” she continued. “The opportunity is here and we will grasp it.”
Hadassah has opened two youth villages for relocated children and families from northern Israel. At the moment there are some 600 young people at Hadassah-Neurim and 90 families and children in Meir Shfeyah. Among those at Neurim are a large number of very recent immigrants from Ethiopia, who had only just settled in Safed. In addition, Hadassah College Jerusalem, a four-year college in the center of the capital, opened its doors to ORT Braude College of Engineering in Karmiel and the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, offering the use of its facilities for testing, final exams and final projects.
As always, the Hadassah Medical Organization’s two hospitals are prepared to handle whatever medical emergencies and issues arise, and have sent two medical teams to the North. At the moment social workers, psychiatrists and pediatricians are working in hard-hit Nahariya, where families and children, confined to shelters for days, are suffering from emotional trauma. To donate to Hadassah’s emergency campaign, please call (866) 229-2395.
Hadassah’s emergency mission will be a whirlwind, four-day statement of solidarity with Israel and its people. In their slightly more than two days on the ground, participants will travel to the North to visit communities, largely confined to bomb shelters, to speak with mayors, residents and children affected by the hostilities. In the South, they will travel to Sderot and a nearby airbase. Organized with the help and supervision of the Israel Defense Forces, the tour will include high-level military and government briefings. In addition, participants will visit relocated families who have been helped by Hadassah and see how the organization’s institutions have assisted in the war efforts. For further information about the tour, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 363-2373.
Young Judaeans on summer programs in Israel announced this week that they will gather funds to buy and distribute toys and books for displaced children from the Northern part of Israel, who are now in different communities, day camps, youth villages and other sites. The YJers, all high-school aged from across the U.S., have set a goal of IS 100,000 to help the Israeli kids.
For more information on Hadassah’s responses to Israel in crisis, please visit www.hadassah.org. or www.youngjudaea.org.