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Message from the President
Dear Hadassah members and friends of the Westchester Region:
I’m sending a message into the future, writing these words in the final weeks of 2013 to be read as the new (secular) year begins. What will the future hold for us as Hadassah members, and for our organization as a whole? Each fall during the high holy days we are judged by G-d based on our past but have the opportunity to make a new start filled with possibilities. Life in the modern world can be a challenge at times, but we can each choose where to direct our attention and resources to make an impact on the things that matter to us.
Your chapter, region, and national leaders are focused on thinking about and planning for Hadassah’s future. We arrange events to interest and educate members and to raise the funds needed to operate Hadassah’s programs. (Many of the events planned for the Westchester region this year are described elsewhere in this bulletin.) We also look to identify future leaders, women committed to Hadassah’s mission and interested in stepping up to greater responsibility. For there is always work to be done, important work that needs doing.
Certainly the Hadassah hospitals are foremost in our thoughts. Mt. Scopus and Ein Kerem are the best hospitals in Israel, serving everyone from the poorest and newest immigrants to dignitaries who could seek care anywhere in the world. Ariel Sharon received care at HMO following his 2006 stroke, and more recent patients included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel. Earlier in 2013 Congressman Doug LaMalfa of California suffered a kidney stone attack while visiting Israel. Not previously familiar with Hadassah, the congressman and his wife Jill were unbelievably impressed with the treatment he received, the facilities at the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, and the caring and concern they were both given during his stay.
I know that you, like me, are proud of what we have accomplished when you read about these and many other Hadassah successes, whether in our own publications or elsewhere. Continue to be proud; continue to inform and educate your friends (both Hadassah members and others with common interests) so that they understand what we are doing in our medical facilities and why it is critical that they continue to support our hospitals. As the saying goes, hazak hazak venit-hazek – be strong, be strong, and we shall be strengthened!
The expression “Keep your eye on the prize” means many things in Hadassah. When our researchers discover treatments for previously incurable illnesses or when our doctors and nurses bring their expertise to disaster relief, aren’t you proud? When the Youth Aliyah students that we support gain first-hand knowledge of their heritage, from the horrors of the concentration camps to the joy of becoming B’nai Mitzvah and lighting Hanukkah candles for the first time, aren’t you proud of the role that you played in that transformation? Closer to home, when you learn of the impact that Hadassah has had on a member’s life – because a study group educated them for example – don’t you smile at the knowledge that you have played a role in this education, aren’t you proud?
The impacts Hadassah makes don’t happen accidentally. We plan for them – we organize and prioritize, we fundraise and work hard to make impacts in so many aspects of life. Ultimately, we know we are enriching many lives in many different ways. It isn’t always easy, but we hope you find it fulfilling. So keep planning and know that you are a partner in an organization that truly knows what it is to MAKE AN IMPACT! And if you can, choose the area of Hadassah that speaks to your heart and support it with a gift!
Danny Siegel, poet, author and tzedakah pro reminds us “Whatever the burdens and trials of being a Jewish leader, if the Jewish leader remembers that this is one of the greatest treasure we have been given, i.e., the opportunity to spend our days fixing those things broken in life (broken people and broken hearts among them), then the labors of leadership will become a source of great meaning, joy and peace.”
Leaders and Hadassah members all, this is the time to step forward and make a difference – MAKE YOUR IMPACT ON HADASSAH.
What message will you choose to send to the future?