A Passover Message From Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow

Tuesday, Apr 7 2020

Dear Friends,

Mah nishtana, ha-shana ha-zeh, mikol ha-shanim? How is this year different from all other years?

When this year began, who could have imagined that we would be coping with a worldwide pandemic, COVID-19?  Who could have imagined we’d be spending Passover far from our loved ones and families? 

My hope is that each of you finds strength in the story of Passover, of this chronicle of survival and courage that we retell each year at our Seders. It’s a moment we come together — even if it’s on Zoom — to celebrate freedom, to remember exile, to stand up for justice.

This year is different in so many ways, yet in a fundamental way it will not be. As we face a pandemic, a plague of our own, we think of Moses, of Miriam, and all who followed them across the Red Sea to their promised land. We will retell the story of Pharaoh and the plagues. We will mourn what we have lost, but we will find ways to look ahead, with hope for an even better tomorrow.

We’ll get through this, together. Even when we’re far apart, our Hadassah family is stronger than ever, our work of healing the world as relevant as it was a century ago, or just this week — and every day — in Jerusalem. 

Each Passover, we remind ourselves and teach our children and grandchildren to remember and welcome the stranger and to understand that from darkness comes light. As we face this unparalleled challenge for so many, let us be celebrate joyfully our resiliency — and let us hold on tight to our empathy, for in it we hold onto our humanity.

Wishing you a joyful, meaningful Passover. 

With Pride, Passion and Purpose,


Rhoda Smolow
Hadassah National President


Read More: Coronavirus Updates from Israel and in Our Communities.

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