8 Who Shined in 5778: The Year in Powerful Women

September 7, 2018

8 Who Shined in 5778: The Year in Powerful Women

Be Inspired to Make an Impact in 5779

With Rosh Hashanah upon us, Hadassah joins all of you in savoring the sweetness of a new year and all it promises. As part of this season of self-reflection and renewal, let’s also take time to pause and reflect on Hadassah and the Power of Women Who DO.

5778 has been a year of great celebration: not only the State of Israel’s 70th anniversary in May, but the centennial anniversaries for the Hadassah Medical Organization, the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, and the Department of Ophthalmology. Throughout the year, we've turned their passion to action by celebrating the powerful role Hadassah women have played in making the dream of Israel a reality and our continued role in shaping its future.

It was also a year of great leadership. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the 2018 Women’s Health and Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. Hundreds of Hadassah members, supporters and leaders came together for three powerful days, united by their commitment to empowering women, to Israel, to health and women's health equity–and to advocacy.

These are tremendous achievements and we are proud to honor them here, with a special look at just a tiny sampling of Jewish women, Zionists, Israel supporters and women’s health advocates who helped make 5778 great. May their leadership inspire us in 5779.  Shanah tovah!

8 Who Shined in 5778

#1. Starr Mirza, heart disease patient and advocate
You may not know her name, but heart health advocate Starr Mirza has turned her personal struggle into a powerful platform for women's health awareness and equity. As part of the Hadassah Women's Health & Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC, Mirza delivered passionate testimonial: Hadassah means compassion. These women have not only shown compassion but also love, commitment and passion. I feel so honored for my heart story to be included in their mission.”

#2: Dr. Michal Lotem, Hadassah Hospital’s Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy
Dr. Lotem's clinical trials have better success rates than other treatment protocols and come with less severe side effects. They’re "a revolution in the treatment of melanoma." For Melanoma Awareness Month, her cutting-edge cancer treatments were profiled by FYI News.

#3: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hadassah Life Member
This year marked the 25th anniversary of Justice Ginsburg's SCOTUS appointment and her life was documented in the critically acclaimed film RBG. While being honored with the Genesis Prize in July, Ginsburg spoke passionately about the influence of Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold, saying “I recall her words even to this day when a colleague’s words betray a certain lack of understanding.” Earlier in the year, Ginsburg swore 12 Hadassah members and Associate attorneys into the Supreme Court Bar.

#4: Tsheay Orna Tadoses-Solomon, Hadassah Nurse
Born in Ethiopia and trained as a nurse at Hadassah Israel, Tadoses-Solomon joined a Hadassah-led humanitarian effort in Ethiopia to bring life-saving treatment to children suffering from spinal diseases. On being the head of post-operative recovery on the mission, she said: “My life’s dream was to be a Hadassah nurse. … I am so proud to be able to come back to Ethiopia for the first time in 27 years as a nurse and to be part of the team that helps [these patients] have quality of life." Read her full story here.

#5: Ellen Hershkin, Hadassah National President
As the leader of America’s largest Jewish women’s organization, Ellen Hershkin proudly represented Hadassah at official celebrations of Israel's 70th anniversary, in Jerusalem and in Washington, DC. At the US Embassy celebration, Hershkin accepted two awards on behalf of Hadassah, “Honoring Americans Who Have Strengthened Israel and Its Alliance with the United States.”

#6: Dina Kraft, Host of The Branch Podcast
Hadassah launched a brand-new podcast in August called The Branch, focusing on stories about Jews and Arabs building meaningful relationships in Israel. Host Dina Kraft, veteran journalist, says that she's "drawn to stories that show relationships and friendships that chip away at the idea that living together is impossible."

#7: Mayim Bialik, actress, neuroscientist & Zionist
It was a busy year for Mayim Bialik, Zionist and longtime advocate for women's empowerment. This summer, Bialik touted Hadassah Magazine journalist Rachel Musleah’s new book about the Jewish experience in India: "Who knew that there are Jews who prefer samosas and dosas to brisket and matza balls?!"

#8: Naela Hayet, Supervisor, Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah
Naela Hayet has been a Hadassah Medical Organization nurse for 25 years, a perfect example of the ways Hadassah works to build bridges to peace through medicine, collaborating closely with her longtime friend and colleague Julie Benbenishty, nurse coordinator of Hadassah's trauma unit, to ensure long-term care for patients who live beyond the Green Line. Learn more about 100 years of Hadassah nurses!

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