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Granddaughters of Artist Marc Chagall Speak at Hadassah's Pre-Centennial Ceremonies

National President Marcie Natan with Marc Chagall's granddaughters, twins Bell and Meret Meyer.
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Marc Chagall’s granddaughters were the guest speakers at Hadassah’s pre-centennial convention reception honoring members of Hadassah’s Society of Major Donors, held at the Israel Museum on Sunday night.

Bella Meyer, a floral designer, commented on how much their grandfather loved Israel for what it stands for – “the hope and vision its people courageously fought for.”

“He always told us nothing is possible without work; nothing is possible without love. He was aware of the courage of the people who built the land and wanted to give the gift [of his windows] in his way, through art,” she said, thanking the “big Hadassah family who welcomed him.”

Her twin, Meret Meyer, is vice president of the Marc Chagall Association which handles exhibition, reproduction and authentication requests, and vice president of the Friends of the Marc Chagall National Museum in Nice.

In her address Meret said, “There was more than synergy between Hadassah and Chagall. They shared the same vision and determination to seek the truth. I realized today at the celebration of the building of the Tower, that my grandfather and Hadassah were completing and enriching each other. He wanted to give his gift – that was art.”

Hadassah national president Marcie Natan welcomed the 350 guests on the 50th anniversary of the Chagall windows, which are being sold individually in order to finance part of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, in a joint venture with Christie’s of London.

She announced that Helen Kanter and Dr. Philip Kanter were the first sponsors to step forward, attaching their names to Chagall’s window dedicated to the Tribe of Judah.

The reception followed two days of dedications marking gifts from major donors, and was “a celebration of our donors and their commitment to the tower,” according to Miki Schulman, national convention chair.

Members of the Society of Major Donors, have donated $100,000 or more to Hadassah.

 Helaine Ohayon, coordinator of Hadassah’s development division added that the convention itself was a celebration “of 100 years of accomplishments, of partnerships made, for people who are supporters of Israel.” She said that for Chagall, art and healing went hand in hand.

“Being in the museum is fitting. One of Judaism's principles is l’dor l’dor (from generation to generation). Tonight Chagall’s granddaughters are here, and there are families here with three generations – all of them donors.”

Sidney Swartz of Del Ray Beach, Florida, who, with his wife Judy, is co-chair of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower campaign, said that with the opening of the tower he became part of something a lot bigger than people.

“We’ve had more than our share of luck. I feel so elated, so excited, so thankful and rewarded that we were allowed to be partners to make people’s lives better.”

Nancy Wiadro of Naples, Florida, Major Donor Events chair, said she and her husband had dedicated a nurses station in the new tower in memory of their parents. Jane Strom, a past president of Florida Central Region, and her husband dedicated a “lighting the way,” illuminated wall panel in a patient corridor in honor of her sister.

Randy Heidenfeller, from Lake Zurich, Illinois and president of the North Shore Chapter of Hadassah, said she and her husband were inspired to make their donations because “we wanted to help; we feel it’s important to contribute to making the world a better place.”

Andrea Silagi of Encino, California, president of Hadassah Southern California, who, with her husband, Moshe had participated in a major dedication to the cardiology department last week, said, “We donate because of our connection to Israel and wanting to help Israel.”

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