Coffee Talk 5-14-12
Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah held its last Coffee Talk of the season in the home of Stephanie Gilinsky on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. on May 14, 2012. Judge Heather Stein Russell spoke about "Hadassah and Hamilton County: Healing, Helping and Empowering Women.” She compared Hamilton County's "Alternative Interventions for Women" program to programs funded by Hadassah Foundation to aid women in mental health, building self-esteem, leadership and empowerment.
The Alternative Interventions for Women (AIW) program was started in 2001 and was created to treat women with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions, as an alternative to serving time in prison. Programs use evidence-based treatments from around the country and has won national awards. "Off the Streets", another successful program that Judge Russell talked about, helps prostitutes by providing shelter, education, empowerment and employment. Another successful program, "Dress for Success" provides clothing, job interview training and counseling to unemployed and homeless women.
Hadassah Foundation was created in 1998, funding projects that serve women and girls from diverse cultural groups within Israel and the Jewish community in the United States. Initial grants supported education, training, leadership and self-esteem projects. Beginning in 2002, the Foundation has focused on girls in the United States and on economic empowerment in Israel. A popular Rosh Hodesh program targets teen-aged girls.
Judge Russell served as an Assistant Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney for 17 years, where she prosecuted cases in Juvenile Court, Municipal Court, and Common Pleas Court. She was the first female team leader in the Major Trials Division and Major Felonies Division of the prosecutor’s office. In addition to her regular duties as one of 14 Municipal Court Judges, she presides over a Mental Health Court docket and was recently appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Advisory Committee.
Photography by Gayna Bassin.