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Message from the President

My youngest child just got married.  My baby, my 4th child, my “mezinka.”  Though not Orthodox, he wore a kittel and white tallit.  The dancing was mixed, but the music mostly Israeli and Hebrew.  The food was vegetarian but had “glatt” kosher supervision anyway.  We had an aufruf and a week of sheva brachot. What does this have to do with Hadassah?  TRADITION (Ok, stop singing now)!

What makes a ritual or event a tradition is CONTINUITY, repeating it daily as in the case of prayer, weekly like Shabbat or visits to grandparents, yearly like holidays, or family vacations, or summer camp, or yahrzeits...  In my family, tradition included a “blue box” – the  famous JNF box – where loose change went every Friday before candle-lighting.  Hadassah, too, was part of the tradition, to the extent that my parents’ will stipulated that a certain percentage of their estate go to Hadassah. Likewise, Hadassah has many opportunities for fulfilling tradition and maintaining continuity.

Consider, for example, Perpetual Yahrzeit.  We don’t always remember the date on which it is a tradition to say Kaddish for a deceased family member, but for $1,000 it can be done in perpetuity at Hadassah-Ein Kerem’s synagogue.  The one with the Chagall windows. You can even establish an advance yahrzeit for yourself, may you live to 120 (traditional wish).  More information may be found here:http://www.hadassah.org/site/c.keJNIWOvElH/b.5705437/k.CC1A/Perpetual_Yahrzeit.htm

Likewise, Hadassah has had a long-standing tradition of supporting youth programs. Years ago, there was Junior Hadassah.  Later, Young Judaea became affiliated with Hadassah.  Now, YJ has spun off to be an independent organization, but THE LION STILL ROARS!  As a gift, Hadassah will present The Book Of Continuity.  I hope this reaches you in time to be part of this endeavor.  For more information, call Alex at 212-451-6268.  Deadline is June 16, but Hadassah has a tradition and of course we will continue to support YJ’s many youth programs, including camps, Year Course (gap year in Israel), Birthright and Alternative Winter Break.  

Other traditions we continue today are giving donations for life cycle events, planting trees with JNF (you can do this through Hadassah too!) and celebrating holidays together.  Hadassah provides the opportunities to do all these, and continue the most important Jewish tradition of all, HEALING THE WORLD.

Have a wonderful summer – we have events in July and August – stay safe and continue to remember Hadassah!


Barbara Pollak, President

East Brunswick Chapter of Hadassah



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