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Message from the President

We are proud to be members of Hadassah.   Hadassah has a different meaning for each member but we are all committed to help strengthen the unity of the Jewish people.  In Israel, Hadassah accomplishes this through progressive healthcare, education, youth institutions, volunteerism, and land reclamation. In the U.S. we reach our goals through Jewish and Zionist education programs, Zionist Youth programs, and health awareness programs, as well as by advocating for issues of importance to women and to the American Jewish community.

When most people think of Hadassah, they think of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), which is one of the world’s leading institutions in healthcare, and clinical and scientific research.

But Hadassah is involved in so much more.  Hadassah is the single-largest private sponsor of the Jewish National Fund, with whom we have been partners in action since 1926.  Over the past century, JNF has planted over 200 million trees, built over 150 dams and reservoirs, developed over 250,000 acres of land, created more than 400 parks throughout Israel and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment.  JNF was able to ensure that Israel was the only nation in the world to end the 20th century with more trees than it had at the beginning.

Hadassah supports education through the Hadassah College Jerusalem.  Established over 35 years ago to meet the changing needs in Israel for trained professionals, the college includes a school of optometry; health and hospitality management degrees, environmental health science, visual communication, school of design and an engineering school.  

Hadassah also looks to the future.  Hadassah-supported Youth Aliyah/Children at Risk sets Israel's disadvantaged children on the path to a successful future. Since 1934, over 300,000 young people from 80 lands have graduated from Youth Aliyah. Young immigrants and "at-risk" native Israelis, many of whom are victims of abuse, receive counseling, education, supportive services in youth centers and youth villages, two of which are directly supported by Hadassah.

Hadassah is committed to ensuring American Jewish continuity and instilling a love of Israel and Judaism from generation to generation. That is why Young Judaea is one of the most treasured projects. This youth movement sponsors clubs and summer camps in the U.S. and sends our kids to Israel on travel programs.  

Finally, Hadassah supports U.S.- based programs as well including Check it Out, Read Write Now and advocates for health initiatives and Stem Cell Research at the state and national level.  

So what does this mean for the Westport/Weston chapter?  It means that we are a group of fun, smart women who spend a few hours a week (or month or year) trying to raise money for Hadassah and make a difference in the world.  What does this mean to you?  You can join Hadassah for $36 a year and do nothing else or you can come to an event or two and try us out and maybe get more involved.  

When Henrietta Szold started Hadassah in 1912 she probably never imagined how vibrant and alive her dream would be 96 years later, nor how Hadassah continues to change lives--one person at a time

Joyce Backman
Celia Offir

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