By Nancy A. Rapoport
Every moment we spent in Israel on the special nurses track of the Hadassah Milestone Mission, Nurses Council Co-Chair Susan Lafer and I were proud to represent all of the members of our Hadassah Nurses Council.
We were honored to meet so many dynamic Hadassah nurses, some longtime and some new members—all of us excited to be together to celebrate the 100th anniversaries of the Hadassah Medical Organization, the Henrietta Szold Hadasssah-Hebrew University Nursing School and HMO's Department of Ophthalmology. And Israel's 70th!
From the moment the Mission began we forged new connections with our Nurses Council members and Nurses in Israel. We achieved one of our Mission goals, advancing our vision of building our Nurses Councils and supporting Hadassah's many worthwhile programs and projects. While walking through the halls of Hadassah's hospitals we were able to see and feel for ourselves the miraculous work our Hadassah colleagues perform every day.
Youth Aliyah Village Meir Shfeyah
We were thrilled and honored to be present for the dedication of the Marlene Post Health Center. Two center nurses, Irit Stolarsky and Haya Feder, shared their delighted with the new center and its bright, airy environment, stocked with everything they need to provide optimum care to the children.
Following in Raquela's Footsteps
Raquela was a Hadassah-educated nurse with a fascinating story. All of us enjoyed a moving performance by a troupe of professional actors from the new musical "Raquela: Birth of Israel." The music was beautiful, evoking tears from some viewers, including me. We visited Atlit, an old detention compound for Jewish immigrants who were cared for by Raquela! Our evening event, filled with fabulous food and 4 tables of Nurses Council members was held at the Barkan Winery. It's impossible for me to express in writing the excitement and non-stop conversation of the almost 40 nurses assembled. We joined all Mission participants as nurses from the United States and Israel were recognized and honored.
Translate Knowledge into Power
We visited two Palestinian schools. At the first, for special needs students, we were warmly welcomed by a student band. The staff, parents and students were eager to show off their amazing school, as well as their musical, science and artistic talents. We each took home a gift of decorative soap made by the students. One highlight of the visit was learning the expression "translate knowledge into power, "such an important message.
The second school was the Um Tuba Girl's School, where the students begin every morning with aerobic exercise. We got to see the children perform and join in lessons, including language, math and science.
Both schools actively involve families, so that lessons learned in school carry over into the home. The children wanted to involve us in their activities and were purely adorable!
A Gala Celebrating Nurses
At the Mission Gala, it was a delight to see and hear our nurses in Israel and the United States being honored. The gala took place in a beautiful setting overlooking the city of Jerusalem. It was a night to remember.
Throughout this experience, we shared excitement, tears, learning and laughter.
Everything happening at HMO in Israel is happening thanks to your generosity, dedication and understanding of the importance of Hadassah worldwide. Each of our Hadassah nurses was with us every step of the way on this Mission.
Nancy Rapoport, BS, RN-BC,LNC, is National Nurses Council Co-Chair.
During my time in Israel, I met so many interesting, motivated, and intelligent women of all ages from all over the United States with one thing in common: a passion so strong for Israel and the Jewish people. In a world full of chaos and hate, it was so nice to be around such positive women who want to help others and make a difference just because they are nice people. I may have been one of the youngest on the trip, but I learned so much and really enjoyed my time getting to know such incredible women. We laughed, we cried, we bonded over our love for Hadassah.
—Milestone Mission Participant Jaclyn Firestone of Boston, Hadassah nurse member
Want to see pictures, videos and more? Check out our Highlights: From Dream to Innovation — Hadassah Milestone Mission
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