“It was so thrilling and easy to advocate from the comfort of our own homes,” says Stacey Dorenfeld, Hadassah National State Advocacy Co-Chair, about her recent virtual Day in the District experience. “It just goes to show that nothing can stop Hadassah women from making our voices heard and making a difference!”
Adapting to the realities of the pandemic, Hadassah women are finding new ways to advocate — safely. During Day in the District meetings, Hadassah members are now meeting online with policymakers to push forward our legislative priorities, including women’s health, strengthening US-Israel medical partnerships and combating antisemitism through education.
For Hadassah Southern California’s meeting with Rep. Brad Sherman’s office, Hadassah advocates spoke about the direct impact key policies have on their lives. Caryl Label, for example, shared her personal experience with infertility to raise awareness for Hadassah’s reConceiving Infertility initiative, which confronts taboos and drives policy change to support individuals facing infertility. Label made a strong case for Rep. Sherman to support the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act, which would help expand coverage for infertility diagnoses and treatment.
“When you’re going through infertility, you start to think, ‘I’m the only one,’ and when you see a person with a baby it makes you sad. It’s easy to give up,” Label said during the meeting, adding, “If I had the means to do IVF or anything else that could have helped, I would have done it.”
Hadassah Southern California's meeting also gave their advocates an opportunity to spotlight important policy priorities. Hadassah leaders thanked Rep. Sherman for sponsoring the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, which ensures Palestinian children learn peace and tolerance through curriculum reform, and for cosponsoring legislation to expand medical partnerships between the US and Israel.
"We are very proud to support the doctors, nurses and staff at Hadassah Medical Organization, who like all medical professionals are heroically supporting their communities," said Hadassah life member Allison Martini, adding, "We are excited the US and Israel are working collaboratively to help stop the spread of COVID-19, improve detection, speed recovery and find an effective treatment or a vaccine."
Whether meeting with policymakers face-to-face or over Zoom, Hadassah women never stop fighting for issues that matter. Hadassah Southern California's first successful virtual Day in the District event has led to meetings with Rep. Julia Brownley and Rep. Juan Vargas' office. And across the country, Hadassah advocates are organizing virtual Day in the District events with legislators from California, Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and more.
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