Career and Family
I was born in Liechtenstein as the youngest of three. After high school, I went on to study in Switzerland, got my bachelor's degree in business and followed up with a master in sociology and political science. During my studies, I worked for El Al security but decided to go into journalism, and I ended up writing for newspapers and magazines about politics and entertainment. I met my husband, who is originally from South Africa, in Israel. We have four kids, ages 21 to 13, and two dogs, a Jackapoo and an English Labrador. After being stranded in Israel during Operation Protective Edge, my oldest son, Noah, ended up on an unforgettable solidarity mission together with Marcie Natan, Marlene Post and three Hadassah Associates. There actually is an article in Hadassah Magazine that he wrote about his experience. Our 18-year-old daughter, Mia, is currently on a Young Yudaea Year Course in Israel. Sooner or later, the two younger ones, Benjamin and Sarina, will surely end up in Israel as well.
I am 49 years old and for the last nine years I have been the director of the Hebrew Cemetery in Charlotte.
How did you get involved with Hadassah?
In 2012, I was recovering from breast cancer when I came across Celebrate the TaTas, the Breast Cancer research fundraiser that started here in Charlotte. After going through surgeries and treatments, it was really liberating and fun to get my breasts painted. After I learned about the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), I was hooked. Shortly thereafter I joined my Chapter and became Fundraising VP. The following year I Co-chaired the Celebrate the TaTas Big Reveal and next thing, I was elected Chapter President. During my second year of presidency my cancer returned, and I needed support to run the Chapter due to my poor health. I even wanted to step down but something beautiful and extraordinary happened. My board refused to accept my resignation and instead of letting me go, a handful of past Chapter Presidents created the "Circle of Presidents” and together we ran the Chapter. Once my turn was over and my health and strength returned, I agreed to take on a role on the Region’s board and currently I am an AVP for two Chapters.
What is it about Hadassah that resonates with you?
Rather than just an organization, Hadassah is like family. I always look forward to catching up with my Hadassah sisters during Region meetings, and I especially love the National Conventions. They fuel my fire and remind me of Henrietta Szold’s strengths to push forward. One of her famous quotes resonates especially with me: “Dare to dream …. And when you dream, dream big.” I love to have the opportunity to stand up for what is important to me, to create a meaningful program or simply spread the word about what Hadassah does. Sometimes as just one person we are not heard but when we unite we become a force that is perceived. Hadassah’s medical research is one of the best in the world, the hospital is incredible and our advocacy for women’s rights, domestic issues and the State of Israel is very much alive. Within Hadassah I can be an ambassador for Israel and its values, and I can choose to make a difference in this world. Nothing is better than that!
Share something you would like people to know about you
I have conquered breast cancer twice within the last six years. I have survived over a dozen surgeries, 20 chemotherapies and 30 radiation treatments. During my second bout with cancer I was given two different choices of chemotherapies. I had no idea what to do. It occurred to me that as a member of Hadassah I should find out the opinions of our very own oncologists. I contacted Barbara Sofer, who introduced me to a very special doctor at Hadasash Ein Kerem. He looked at my medical history, next thing I spoke to him on the phone and from then on, he advised me on my treatment. I have never been so humbled in my entire life, and I truly feel blessed to be part of this organization. Cancer has literally scarred me but it surely does not define me. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I push forward and challenge myself every day. I understand that life happens and certain things are beyond my control and that is why I have absolute faith. Life is fragile, and as George Bernard Shaw once said, “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." I like creating mine with Hadassah by my side.
Previous Members of the Month
"Her grandmother made her a life member at birth."
Find out more about Stephanie Weitzman›
Los Angeles, CA
"She gives much of her energy to repairing the world."
Find out more about Stacey Dorenfeld›
"Hadassah has taught me to be a stronger advocate for Israel, Zionism and Jewish values."
Find out more about Shelly Cohen›
"Sarrah works with a technology start-up company, building global strategic partnerships."
Find out more about Sarrah Bechor›
"I chose Hadassah because its main focus is Israel."
Find out more about Ruth Fein›
"She finds it incredibly important to give back to the community she was raised in."
Find out more about Robin Fischel›
Las Vegas, NV
“Board certified pediatrician passionate about Hadassah.”
Find out more about Randi Lampert›
“I owe much to Hadassah, including meeting my husband.”
Find out more about Randi Cohen›
Paula M. Schiff
Walnut Creek, CA
"Along with my wonderful Hadassah members, I have presented three Israel advocacy programs."
Find out more about Paula M. Schiff ›
"Melissa founded the “Leorah” chapter."
Find out more about Melissa Liverman›
Maxine, Rochelle and Alana Schube
"Our goal in coming forward with our story is to show that breast cancer doesn’t care how old you are."
Find out more about Maxine, Rochelle and Alana Schube›
Martha Jo Katz
"For 18 years she worked a model."
Find out more about Martha Jo Katz›
"I love being part of a group where I feel a true kinship to the other members."
Find out more about Lori Reszutek›
San Diego, CA
“From the beginning, I have been impressed that Hadassah is almost completely volunteer driven.”
Find out more about Lori Good›
“I love that Hadassah is this amazing organization for Israel, about Israel, in Israel.”
Find out more about Leslie Gonzalez›
Vernon Hills, IL
"After losing her vision, Keeley developed a line of hair fragrances."
Find out more about Keeley Kossof›
"Katie hopes one day to help her daughter become a Young Woman of Hadassah."
Find out more about Katie Perez›
"I am proudest of the cutting-edge medical research done at Hadassah, including research on treating ALS, cystic fibrosis, heart stents, stem cell therapy and more"
Find out more about Judi Babcock›
"Holly has spent most of her career doing communications and PR for nonprofit groups."
Find out more about Holly Seltzer›
“Hadassah supports everything I feel strongly about.”
Find out more about Helene Schilian›