Dear Nashville Hadassah Members and Associates,
As a chapter, we find it essential to ask ourselves: “How as a community can we work to combat antisemitism here in Nashville?”
One powerful example: Some of our board members met with Representative Jim Cooper’s staff to discuss local advocacy efforts, including women’s rights, support for infertility treatments and fighting antisemitism. Representative Cooper has been a big supporter of Hadassah advocacy efforts, and his staff has been very willing to work with our chapter. We are also working locally to get schools connected with the TN Holocaust Commission and informing them of the Never Again Education Act, so that this act can be implemented in our schools.
Our work aligns with that of Hadassah's national office, which also been focusing on education to decrease antisemitism. Rita Shapiro and Joyce Laiter said, “Statistics show that in the last ten years, reported antisemitic incidents have soared ..." At the Hadassah National Business meeting in January 2021, Elan Carr, at that time the US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, said that education is the answer. Hadassah agrees, and that’s why we made the Never Again Education Act the centerpiece of our advocacy efforts. Passing that legislation and having it signed into law helps millions of students learn the lessons of the Holocaust and stand up against hatred. See Hadassah's policy statement about defining antisemitism here: https://www.hadassah.org/policy-statement/defining-antisemitsm
Our chapter and Hadassah’s general fundraising efforts also support the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Israel, which has been a world leader in medical research and fostering peace through the power of healing. In 2005, Hadassah Medical Organization was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for bringing advanced medical care to patients regardless of race, religion or nationality. HMO has also been a leader in treating COVID-19 patients.
Other Hadassah initiatives include Youth Aliyah, which provides services to immigrant and at-risk children in Israel, and Young Judaea, which runs camps and youth programs in the United States and the well-attended Year Course in Israel.
In addition to supporting causes in Israel, Hadassah and our chapter promote equality and advocacy for women’s issues here in the US.
Thank you for your attention to our wonderful chapter,
Sarah Ruden and Deana Goldstein, Chapter Co-Presidents