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Message from Merna Shapiro,
President, FL Broward Region Hadassah
Dear Hadassah Family,
In 2013, Hanukkah does not compete with Christmas. This year, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving; this unique holiday can be referred to as Thanksgivikkah. Hanukkah is the celebration of the Maccabee’s victory over the Syrians and the rededication of the Temple. When the eternal light was relit, it was believed that there was only enough oil for one day, but miraculously, it lasted for eight days. Today, we continue to celebrate this dedication and to demonstrate our commitment to Jewish tradition.
Hadassah always promotes Jewish values and culture, and being Zionists, we inspire a passion for the land and people of Israel. However, we also embrace our lives in America and give thanks to this country for the freedoms we possess, especially the freedom of religion. While Thanksgiving expresses our appreciation for the privileges of living in America, the lightening of the Menorah reminds us of the beautiful traditions to which we have been faithful for thousands of years.
As we observe Thanksgiving and the miracle of Hanukkah, I would like to thank you for choosing Hadassah to make your impact and therefore, enabling miracles to happen every day. You can make your personal positive impact where it means the most to you; choose the area that speaks to your heart.
The groundbreaking research conducted at our Hadassah Medical Organization will save people’s lives throughout the world. Our two hospitals are known for “building bridges to peace,” because each year, we treat over a million patients of all faiths and nationalities. I know you are as proud as I am when you hear stories about Hadassah miracles. New medical breakthroughs by our physicians bring us gratification. Our HMO researchers have discovered that a special compound called BKT140 shrank lung cell tumors by about 50 percent in cell samples and laboratory mice. When BKT140 was combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, cancer cell growth decreased by about 90 percent in the lab. These are first steps in what may one day lead to a treatment or cure for lung cancer. Three year old Asaf has acute leukemia and the Hadassah doctors are preparing him for a bone marrow transplant, using his own stem cells. Our medical staff is optimistic that this child will be cancer- free soon.
Hadassah members have always been concerned about youth and education. Our Youth Aliyah/Children at Risk provide a safe haven in Israel for immigrants and children from poor or abusive homes. With nurturing and guidance, these young people learn the skills needed to succeed in today’s world. Young Judaea ensures Jewish continuity and creates leadership. Our own Camp Judaea, located in Hendersonville, NC, offers “A little bit of Israel in the heart of theBlue Ridge Mountains.” Camp Judaea offers children the finest Jewish camp experience, where they make lasting friendship and acquire leadership skills.
While repairing the world, Tikkun Olam, Hadassah members have the opportunity to expand their horizons and build friendships. I thank you all for being a part of my life and look forward to seeing you at our Women of the Year event on December 8, where we will honor members, who have demonstrated dedication and devotion to our organization. I appreciate your commitment to Hadassah and trust you will share our mission, donate a meaning gift of Tzedakah, as well as contribute volunteer hours.
I wish you and those whom you love health and happiness during this Thanksgivikkah. Thanks-a-latkes!
Merna K Shapiro, President
P.S. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Region Events