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Message from the President

Hadassah President’s Fall 2014 Message

The Jewish New Year calendar is in sync with Gainesville, a university town who also begins a new year around the same time. The month of Elul is designed to prepare us for the hard work ahead; schools hope that their children show up prepared for the hard work ahead. It’s easier for us if we pay attention to the traditions of Elul. Even if we don’t, we have all the local media to alert us to the opportunity for beginning anew, the value of learning, growing, and evolving.

You know where I am going with this. I want you to decide that Hadassah is worth your time and energy in this coming year. If you go to the Hadassah.org website, you will find dozens of reasons to capture your heart. Being involved is an opportunity to learn new skills (join one of the interest groups, sign up for a webinair, on-line course, or attend a conference). Being involved is a great way to socialize with old friends and meet some of the new people that have joined our community.

In order to support the Hadassah Hospital, the HMO, and all the other very important projects, we need you. I hope you decide to fall into the season and get caught up in the network of our chapter.




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 Hadassah life members and associate attorneys are invited to be sworn in at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Only 12 a day can be sworn in so you can go Feb. 18-19, 2013 or Feb. 19-20, 2013.  It should be a thrilling experience for our local attorneys to be part of this. New members to Hadassah are included in this.  For additional information go to:  www.hadassah.org/swearingin or  attorneyscouncils@hadassah.org


December announcements from Hadassah reflect our full range of opportunities for men and women.  

Hadassah’s active seniors have a great opportunity to work as a volunteer, tour, study and live in Israel. Hadassah's Winter in Netanya and Spring in Netanya programs are geared to the active retiree. It’s one of the most meaningful ways to make a positive contribution to Israel. You’ll meet lively and interesting people from all over the world who come together to live, work and volunteer in Israeli communities.  Contact Charna Cohn (378-9821) for more information.

Hadassah maintains communication in the 21st Century via websites and Facebook.  The Hadassah magazine will continue to arrive in the mail to warm your heart.  We need our members to look to the internet for other information about our international, national and local efforts and opportunities.  It will save us money that could be used for direct services and it is completely convenient.  For the bigger picture check in at:  Hadassah.org   and for local information and our personal touch (jokes, photos, etc.) log in at:  Hadassah.org/Gainesville.  You can also find us on Facebook.com. 

Report: The October program on organ donations and transplants went well.  The panel was made up of Rabbi Kaiman, Kathy Giery of LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services/Donate Life, nurses Karen Majorowicz and Debbie Boada, and family members Seema Kramer and Karen Deeter.  There was discussion of the Jewish views on organ donation, what the process entails, and experiences regarding organ transplantation from both the nursing and the family perspectives.  Excellent questions were asked and answered, and the consensus was to plan an interfaith program for next year's Organ Donor Sabbath.

Hadassah wants you to stay connected to those you care about.  We have a large assortment of attractive greetings cards from bar/bat mitzvah to sympathy and condolence cards, wedding and anniversary cards, as well as blank cards and donations cards which state that a contribution has been made.   Please call Ann Heft (376-8145) and she can send the card out for you or arrange for you to buy as many as your desk can hold. If you prefer to plant a tree or send a certificate, a super way to remember folks during Chanukah,  please contact Linda Lewis (317 -4978). 

Hadassah wants you to be informed about important research. This column cannot cover everything.  We encourage you to check the Hadassah.org or the Hadassah.org/Gainesville websites but here is one valuable bit to share:

Hadassah Cardiologists Find That Vitamin D Supplementation Increases Survival for Heart Failure Patients   Noting that Vitamin D deficiency is "highly prevalent" in patients with heart failure (HF) and "a significant predictor of reduced survival," Hadassah Medical Center physicians determined that Vitamin D supplementation was associated with improved outcome. The researchers reported their findings in the April 2012 issue of The European Journal of Heart Failure, the international journal of the European Society of Cardiology, dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in the field of heart failure. Vitamin D deficiency was found in 28 percent of the HF patients, as compared to 22 percent in the control group. Only 8.8% of the HF patients, they found, had optimal levels of Vitamin D. Those HF patients who received Vitamin D supplementation, however, were 32 percent less likely to die from the disease.


Hadassah wants you to take advantage of fiscal opportunities. There is one month remaining to make a gift to Hadassah.  Life membership, a certificate, a tree, there are many ways to contribute to meeting the needs. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.  Contact Judy Breiner.

Hadassah Medical Organization

A new method for operating on liver cancer patients was put to the test for the first time in Israel recently at Hadassah University Hospital-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. The method applies a direct flow of high-voltage electrical currents to the malignant tumor and has raised new hope for patients diagnosed with the disease.

Until now, a cancerous growth in the liver has been considered a death sentence. But after the first operation of its kind using the electrical current method was performed several weeks ago the diagnosis has become a lot less frightening.

"The method does not generate excessive heat or cold in the body, and can therefore be applied close to blood vessels and vital organs without harming them," said Dr. Mohamed Faroja, a Hadassah surgeon who learned the method in a British hospital.

The operation in Israel, which was performed with the help of Prof. Nahum Goldberg and Dr. Liat Applebaum, was considered a complete success.


We know that you are bombarded by so many organizations on e-mail. We want our e-communications to be worth your time.  Please give me feedback on your Hadassah e-experience.


Hadassah President’s Message Jan. 2013

Another New Year. As bi-cultural Americans we feel the difference in how our new years are celebrated. Contrast the celebration of noisy parties involving alcohol and making a list of resolutions with our day in synagogue expressing gratitude and appreciate followed by ten days of soul searching, facing those we have hurt then asking for forgiveness and dinners involving special family menus and including friends and strangers. Living in western civilization, we get to benefit from both approaches.

I already wrote down my goals for the Jewish year last September. I can look at them and make adjustments as the year evolves. What shall I do with this opportunity starting January 1, 2013? I want to keep on track with what I wrote down a few months ago. I want to continue to do the best work I can for Hadassah which involves: encouraging members to get more involved; supporting my board in every way possible as they work to achieve their goals; and learning to be a stronger, knowledgeable and more efficient leader.

How about you? How will you fit Hadassah into the coming year? Will you:

log on to the national website (Hadassah.org) in order to keep up with the news about our Jewish community/Israel in general and Hadassah more specifically?

log onto our Facebook page or local website (Hadassah.org/Gainesville) in order to keep up with the home front?

take advantage of Hadassah’s outstanding opportunities for personal and professional skill-building?

send our cards, certificates and trees?

support and attend our events?

keep in mind the enormously important work of Hadassah as you allocate your precious resources of time, energy and money?

Needless to say, I hope you vigorously nodding your head and saying yes, yes yes.

With genuine appreciation for what we have and with great enthusiasm for what we can achieve I wish you and your loved ones your best year ever.



Hadassah President’s Message Feb. 2013

Please join us at our Woman of Valor Shabbat Service February 22, 8:00PM, at Congregation B'nai Israel. Services will be conducted by Hadassah members.This year’s dedicated recipient is Suzanne Chester. Suzanne is a lifetime member of Hadassah, the Chavaya Religious School Director at B’nai Israel, and very active in the Jewish community at large. She has two sons and gets her tenacious zest for life and Hadassah from her mother Rhoda Chester. Desserts will follow the service.

Donations made in Suzanne's honor are designated for Hadassah Medical Organization's Scoliosis Research at her request and may be sent to the Gainesville Chapter of Hadassah or by check payable to Hadassah, c/o Treasurer Connie Stern, P.O. Box 358362, Gainesville, FL. 32635-8362. Please designate that the check is for Hadassah HMO-Scoliosis.

It's flu season. People are still having birthdays and other celebrations.It’s the perfect time to call Ann Heft to send out cards for you or to arrange to buy a stack for the year. Linda Lewis has certificates and a terrific plan for people who like to send trees as a way of honoring an occasion.You know the story about receiving notice that “a tree has been planted in Israel in your honor.Your day to water it is Wednesday.” Now you can send an extra certificate so someone else will take on the responsibility of watering the tree! Talk to Linda about it.

Rhoda Chester, proud mother of Suzanne, continues to be available to collect your blue boxes.If you need a blue box, or want to empty the one you have, please call her.

Hadassah’s Regional Conference is in Jacksonville March 9-11. It begins after Shabbat and ends on Monday afternoon.If you have never considered attending one, please reconsider.You will be pleasantly surprised at how energizing and valuable it is to come together with a group of competent, caring women you’ve never met.Excellent social activities, like a trip along the Charles River, are planned along with the valuable workshops.



Hadassah President’s Message March 2013

Spring will spring upon this month. Pesach and spring cleaning are in store.

Mark your calendar for two events:

Tapas and Tinis will be a fun evening, well-spent on Saturday, April 20. Look for your invitation.

Art Lovers Study Group is a newly formed study group that will meet to share one’s interest in the visual arts. Click on our study group section for more information. You can either bring your own original piece of art, all media included, or bring a photo memory that represents a special Jewish holiday for you. Meet new people, share your appreciation of the fine arts, do something different!

Hadassah will be partnering with the Shir Shalom Sisterhood for a Jewish Community Health Fair in May. You won’t want to miss this opportunity. Stay tuned….

I am wishing you and your loved ones a meaningful and satisfying Passover.


Hadassah President’s Springtime 2013 Message


Spring into action for Hadassah! 

Hadassah began long before there was an independent state of Israel, adding program after program because the needs were so great.  In addition to starting a hospital, Hadassah supported other needed programs as the needs arose. Those programs have been supported by the efforts of individuals like you and me.

In the 21stcentury, Hadassah is re-examining the way it supports programs in Israel and in this country. Addressing medical issues and women’s issues has increased in importance in this country over the years. The work done in Hadassah’s Hospital and Research Facilities continue to spill over to the USA and improve the quality of life here.

Please contact Ann Heft for all kinds of Hadassah cards. Contact Linda Lewis for a variety of certificates and trees. It’s a meaningful way to acknowledge an important event. 

Spring into action for Hadassah!

p.s  In an effort to recognize the long-term commitment of Hadassah members, the national office now tracks your gifts (bookkeeping challenges result in Hadassah starting with gifts of $1000) and it is called cumulative giving. As one’s gifts accumulate over the years, the kind of recognition given reflects the increase in generosity. Slowly, slowly, you can find your name inscribed on a wall or on a brick or on a plaque somewhere important. 



Hadassah President’s Summer 2013 Message

It feels good to do good. Body, mind and spirit are uplifted when we make the effort to do Tikkun Olam, the healing of the broken world. 

Hadassah is 100% dedicated to making our world better but who is Hadassah? You, my dear reader. Your contribution of time, money, time or money, time and money, are necessary. Everything is important and appreciated.

You may not be able to rescue an at-risk teenager and nurture them back to a productive, satisfying life or find a cure for ovarian cancer. But you can help make that happen by your involvement with Hadassah.

Go to   Hadassah.org   or   Hadassah.org/Gainesville to brighten your day.

Buy all your greeting, condolence, thank you, etc. cards from Ann Heft. Buy beautiful certificates and plant trees by contacting Linda Lewis. Check your Hadassah directory for their numbers.

That’s all it takes to support Hadassah this summer. 

Before your summer is over, you will have done the serious introspection of the High Holy Days. Let me wish you a meaningful, healthy and joy-full New Year. I hope Hadassah involvement will be part of your New Year.



Hadassah President’s Fall 2013 Message


I love the irony of our Jewish New Year beginning when the leaves are falling and much of nature is at the opposite end of beginning. Why does the Bible want the day to begin at nightfall? Why do we start the year at its agricultural end? Did you ever wonder what a lovely oxymoron it is to celebrate the New Year and make plans for the rest of the year when the days are growing shorter? I’m sure the rabbis have meaningful thoughts to share about this. For me, being in the autumn of my life, I love that I can celebrate the New Year while facing the season that reminds us that our lives are growing shorter.

Hadassah is working very hard to raise the money necessary to support its many projects. There are several initiatives in that area: Crown of Esther, Chai Society, Keepers of the Gate, Cumulative Giving are some examples. 

Locally, we want to provide meaningful programs. We want to expand the study groups we have and want to add other volunteer opportunities.  One opportunity is Read Write Now. Trained volunteers go to schools and read with the children. It is very satisfying, and more so because there is training available to enhance the experience.

CHECK IT OUT is another outstanding program developed by Hadassah. It is an educational program for high school and college students that increases their awareness of the importance of taking care of their bodies. 

Think about how you can contribute to Tikkun Olam through Hadassah. Your check and your time, socially or on your own, there are so many ways to support the many outstanding programs of Hadassah. Please call me if you have any ideas about this. 

This is the time to look at your commitments. I hope that you will realize that being involved with Hadassah is the ideal way to be involved locally (our successful Health Fair and Organ Donation service) , nationally (Hadassah’s many programs and advocacy opportunities), internationally (Hadassah has observer status at the United Nations), at the same time you support the very important work we do in Israel. In addition, Hadassah’s leadership training opportunities and its high ratings as a non-profit are important bonuses.

You can be part of many organizations but you won’t be part of any organization that offers more for you. Think about it. Join us in keeping Hadassah the strong and dynamic enterprise that it has been for the past 100 years.



Hadassah President’s Winter 2013 Message


Medical Breakthroughs from Israel - Please watch this video!

Medical Breakthroughs from Israel



Up north, folks think that winter has arrived. Chanukah is supposed to begin on the new moon closest to the winter solstice so that on the darkest, coldest and shortest day of the year we must light a candle. With Chanukah overlapping Thanksgiving, it doesn’t feel like that is exactly what happened this year. 

Still, it is important to light candles in the dark. That is what Hadassah tries to do every day (and night) with the programs it supports.   If you read some of the reports on our national website, Hadassah.org, you will be warmed by the accomplishments of our organization. The candles are expensive.

Providing a home for at-risk children is expensive. Providing scholarships so that American Jewish children can attend Jewish summer camp, shown by research to have the most significant impact on a person’s adult commitment to Jewish community, is costly. Maintaining a world-class medical facility and research center is very expensive. We who live in the USA among so much abundance can easily lose our perspective on both how much suffering and need exists and how much help every single dollar that is donated to Hadassah can provide.

In the cold, material things and people can contract, pull in. I hope that this season will find you reaching out, participating in Hadassah activities and being as generous as you possibly can to support the important work we do.



Hadassah President’s Spring 2014 Message

Springtime is usually everyone’s favorite time of year. “For, lo, the winter has past” comes from the psalms and begins our family’s Passover seder. We welcome springtime in Gainesville with less exuberance than folks up north because they are still feeling quite chilly and looking for tree buds to appear. Still, springtime in Gainesville does feel different and we all respond to the signs of the change of seasons.

When I am in a cold or dark place, physical or mental, I can always comfort myself by saying “No matter how bad the winter is, spring will always come”. 

Hadassah is dealing with multiple winter-like issues. The process of making the transition to an organization that responds to contemporary Jewish women and our changing lifestyle will take time. Continuing to work with the Israeli government and the management team in Israel in order to make our HMO solvent again is a big challenge that will be accomplished over time. There are very good articles about this particular issue when you go to the website Hadassah.org

Not to grow is to die. It is a basic principle of biology. As a bi-cultural woman, what are the gaps in your growth within the Jewish civilization? Would you like to learn more about Israel today or Israel and how it got to be what it is today? Would you like to study the interesting details of our ancient history? Are you looking to expand your spiritual side? Would a few new holiday recipes help? How about lunch with some new, interesting women?

Please don’t wait for me to call you. Please call me and let me know what you can give to Hadassah and what you would like to receive. Charna Cohn



Hadassah President’s Summer 2014 Message

Summer is the time for rest, relaxation, fun and travel. At least, that is what it was when we were in school for so many years. It’s difficult to let go of that image, even if our work demands have no relationship to the season. I’d like to suggest that you reconsider the opportunity of summer as letting go of responsibilities, work, school, etc. and think about it as the season of transition. 

What do you like to do when you are not fulfilling your responsibilities? How do you “re-create” yourself when you have time for recreation? It is important to our personal growth to think about this and summertime can help.

I am grateful that our Jewish civilization insists that I pause and reflect about who I am and what I want for my life. The High Holy Days are all about me and what I can do to be a better person, die with less regrets, and find meaning in what I choose to do. All of that comes at the end of the summer vacation when our full, busy lives and lifestyle resumes. 

Try getting started during the summer when you have time to reflect. I am going to offer my list of reasons why being an active participant in Hadassah can help you fulfill your personal and professional goals. Why should Hadassah be part of my life and, I hope, yours?

1.       To recognize that it keeps me educated as a bi-cultural person.

2.       To value my involvement with other like-minded women.

3.       To combine my social time with tikkun olam.

4.       To “Like” us on Facebook and share good news.

5.       To meet new, interesting people.

6.       To use it as an opportunity to develop new skills and interests.

7.       To shed the constant depression of world news by reading the Hadassah magazine.

8.       To be part of something bigger than myself.

9.       To share my skills and interests and “pass it forward.”

10.   Why not?












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