Inside Hadassah: Miracles of Environment, Empowerment and Health
Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, once said, “Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them.” We agree, so this month we applaud miracle workers like the Hadassah scientists who have created a new method of growing greater numbers of stem cells that can be used for researching new methods of combating disease. We recognize, too, our Young Judaean dancers and the Hadassah chapters whose creative ideas and hard work make life healthier and safer for others. Yasher koah, and now let us celebrate more Hadassah miracles at our national convention in Florida July 25 to 28. I look forward to seeing you there! —Ruth G. Cole
Florida Hadassah Members Go Green
In February 2009, Hadassah Magazine produced an entire issue dedicated to going green, and members in Florida answered the call.
Lois Felder, who in December 2009 was presidium president of the Brevard County Chapter in Melbourne, Florida, was impressed by the issue, and when asked to chair the chapter’s Hanukka party, she set out to green the Festival of Lights. Other chapter members preferred the traditional party, but Felder would not be deterred.
“You’ve got to be creative,” said Felder, shown below with Titusville Mayor James H. Tulley, Jr.
She had contacted the mayors of all 14 cities in Brevard County and received proclamations that December 2009 was officially Hadassah Goes Green Month from the mayors of all but one. Every city held a tree-planting ceremony with indigenous trees—a total of 22 trees were planted. In only 13 days, the trees were in parks, at synagogues, at the Jewish Federation of Brevard County and at Joe’s Place in Melbourne, where Jewish war veterans meet. Accompanying the trees were small, donated signs that credited the Brevard County Chapter. Along with the trees planted in Florida, the chapter also sold 226 Unity Tree certificates for Coco Beach’s sister city in Israel, Beit Shemesh. They also distributed nearly 150 Hadassah Goes Green reusable tote bags.
The chapter hosted an environmental awareness event at Temple Israel in Viera. The Brevard Zoo Education Program came to the synagogue and presented native animals; participants learned the importance of indigenous plants and recycling. Children took part in a poster contest, creating drawings and messages on green themes.
“Kol Hakavod to Lois Felder, who in a most novel and creative project used Hadassah Magazine to teach an important lesson to her community as well as enhance the environment in that community, and—most significantly—plant trees in Israel,” said Deborah Kaplan, past national president and current Jewish National Fund chair. “Both children and adults benefited from her unique efforts.”