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Message from Our Chapter President
President’s Message – Holidays 2014 (November-December)
Dear Hadassah Friends,
Colored leaves, shorter days, lower temperatures, crisp, dry air all remind us of the delights of fall. On Sunday, November 2, we turned the clock to “fall back” an hour and, in a sense, we get to redo time. I’ve often thought how wonderful it would be if we could only get a second chance at a period of time. Could our human actions have changed things for the better?
November 9th will be the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, night of state-sponsored vandalism of all things Jewish in Germany and Austria. If the world had a “do-over,” would it have reacted with more indignant horror and not written the Third Reich a blank check? Veteran’s Day is celebrated on a Tuesday this year, not moved to a Monday. Why? Because the “War to End All Wars” ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month: November 11. If the Treaty of Versailles had been more constructive and less vindictive or had the U.S. Senate voted to join the League of Nations, would millions not have suffered and died in wars since 1918?
The leaders and members of Hadassah who came before us made many wise decisions and changes, if not “do-overs.” By the end of the year, Hadassah’s National Offices will be packing to move to 40 Wall Street. Our new location will afford us more efficient space, much better technology and great security. With the continued help of all our donors, most of our operating rooms in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower will be opened, allowing increased benefits to patients and increased revenue to Hadassah Medical Organization. Our first class of the Hadassah Leadership Fellows will have graduated, armed with enthusiasm and deep knowledge to become the future of our beloved Hadassah.
Some very good news. Our wonderful 2014 Hadassah board has agreed to serve another year with me but we do have a few board positions that are still open. Any volunteers?
With renewed spirit from the holiday month past and a sense of urgency from the membership and fundraising deadlines of December 31, 2014 to come, our Charlottesville chapter has planned some exciting and inviting activities. Please try to attend.
As we head towards Thanksgiving, we are thankful for this good Hadassah news.
This fall, the final meeting of representatives on the Bio-Xplore medicinal plant international research consortium project will take place. The project, funded by a two million euro grant from the European Union and administered by Hadassah Academic College, involved institutions from the Palestinian Authority, Greece, Spain and Israel investigating plants of the Mediterranean Sea Basin. Using established protocols, as well as their own screening assays, the partners performed scientific research that both verified local folklore and identified plants that were previously unknown to have medicinal effects. The researchers looked at the plants’ properties as, for example, antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-fungal agents. In recording the medicinal effects, Prof. Fridlender, President of the Hadassah Academic College and Bio-Xplore Project Coordinator explained, it’s important to document the season, weather, and temperature at the time so that when you grow the plants in a greenhouse, you can replicate those factors, because they do influence the plants’ effectiveness. The Bio-Xplore project was featured at a Hadassah-hosted workshop of the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) annual conference. Prof. Fridlander was the guest presenter at the workshop, entitled “Changing Lives Through International Cooperation.”