Hadassah QUEST Journey to Israel
November 6-14, 2008
November 6 marked the beginning of a very exciting journey. Led by Former National President Marlene Post and QUEST chair Paula Jarnicki, thirty women embarked on their personal journeys with Hadassah’s QUEST. Most of the participants were first timers to Israel, which made the experience all the more meaningful.
Hadassah organized this journey to give QUEST age women the opportunity to taste Israel today, live our Judaic history and comprehend Hadassah’s impact in Israel.
We envisioned Israel’s statehood with a moving presentation at Independence Hall, lived our history walking through old Jaffa, praying at the Kotel, discovering the tunnels bellow the Kotel, visiting Zippori and Yad Vashem. A video welcome from National Pesident Nancy Falchuk and being on site at Hadassah projects were especially moving experiences. We visited the Mother and Child Center at Ein Karem and had an explanation of the Chagall Windows. Students at the Hadassah College Jerusalem prepared and served a sumptuous meal. Everyone enjoyed the serenade by students in the mandolin ensemble at Meir Shefaya Youth Aliyah Village and the tour of the Lone Soldiers Home there.
Planting trees in a Jewish National Fund forest in Modi’in afforded us the opportunity to connect with the earth, our history, and the greening of Israel. We planted oak and pistachio trees, species which were indigenous to the area in the time of the Maccabees. If you have ever considered sending a child on Young Judaea Year Course, the opportunity of a lifetime awaits. This year’s class is the biggest ever, and there is room for more at the beautiful Beit Ar El Youth Hostel.
It was a week of birthday celebrations-- Israel’s 60th as well as several of our participants’. We tasted and felt Israel today through winery tours, an overnight at the Carmel Forest Spa atop Mount Carmel, and belly dancing while dining on sumptuous Moroccan food. Our goal was to present Israel and Israelis from an insider’s perspective. Marlene arranged special visits to the homes and studios of artist Avner Moriah (the Moriah Hagaddah ) and his wife Andi, a patient at Hadassah Ein Karem, as well as jewelry designer Anat Eyal, whose designs are a favorite of Senator Hillary Clinton.
The QUEST Journey opened the door to future involvement for our participants. Some became members of Hadassah to be eligible to join the journey. Others have been members, but never were active locally, and came because a friend asked them. Several are leaders in their chapters and groups. This journey was promoted to relax, indulge, rejuvenate. The relaxation was minimal, but it is abundantly clear that all came away with a richer understanding of the scope of Hadassah’s projects and the impact we make through our volunteerism and financial commitment to the health and well being of the State of Israel.
Hadassah’s QUEST, will continue to enrich, educate and engage women as they continue life’s journey. To learn about upcoming missions to Israel visit www.Hadassah.org and click on the link "Israel Travel". For more information contact the Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah (513) 821-6157.