The Z word. When I began my first year as President, back in January 2019 BC (Before Covid), I was already concerned about how people were responding to Zionism and asked Kindra Cooper to lead us in a conversation entitled: “What is that Zionist piece in our name, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America?” That kicked off our Zionist Book Club, based on Gil Troy’s The Zionist Ideas, Visions for the Jewish Homeland–Then, Now, Tomorrow. Now, as I begin my last year, Zionism is much less academic and so much more personal to me. Over winter break, I asked my almost twenty-two year old granddaughter when she thought she’d go to Israel on Birthright. She responded, “Bubbe, you just don’t understand!” But I did. She had been filled up with all that hateful speech about Israel oppressing the Palestinians.
The Fix. It’s about education, but via dialogue. Hadassah, along with other organizations, is trying to make a difference. In the Israel Panel at the recent “Power of Purpose,” Dr. Rachel Fish, the warrior-scholar, stated that Israel’s enemies are looking to delegitimize her in every way possible. “One important fix, she added: educating Jewish youth about the important role of Israel. Israel education has been taken for granted and removed as a central pillar of Jewish education.” “Young Jews don’t need safe space; they need brave space—an understanding of what it means to engage with Israel. But we can’t ask them to be advocates until they know something.”
The A word. I believe learning more about Zionism and Israel will help in dealing with antisemitism, too.
It’s coming soon. Please join me now in registering for “What Zionism Means to Me.” February 3rd … see section “Beyond Seattle,” below.
Taking action to better explain Zionism and Israel,
There was so much electricity in our recent Seattle Hadassah event, “Electrifying Africa—How Captain Sunshine is Building Bridges with Clean Energy” that for the first time, it felt like we were all in the room together. While we all felt so honored to be hearing from Yosef (Yossi) Abramowitz, a pioneering giant in solar power, he truly made us feel like he was honored to get to speak with us. Mazal tov to our host, Julie Chivo, who envisioned a presentation that offered us even more than a dynamic conversation with a most humble Yossi Abramowitz. Julie put together an impressive video collage about Yossi, which moved to the beat of the inspirational song, “Ani v’Ata”—“You and I will change the world.” Mazel Tov to Risa Coleman, our moderator, who shared the video along with moderating the Q & A.
The depth of the questions raised showed how touched people were with Yossi’s compassion for improving the lives of people in Africa. One of the most touching parts of the event was Yossi sharing with us about his getting started in Africa, specifically Rwanda. His long-time Young Judaea friend, Anne Heyman z”l, invited him to visit the village she created for orphans of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and asked him to bring solar power there. In traveling to other African communities, Yossi admitted that it was not always safe for him to go into certain countries as an Israeli. “I wish him strength and safety,” wrote Hadassah member, Carol Umbehocker.
Throughout the event we heard of how the foundational power of Young Judaea values impacted Yossi. That influence is carried on by Helene Drobenare, highly-respected director of Young Judea Camp Sprout Lake, NY, who ensures Jewish and Zionist influences surround the children. A shout-out to you, Helene, for over twenty years of memorable service and for winning the 2021 Covenant Award. Helene was most definitely included when Hadassah member, Lana Finegold, wrote: “Thank you for bringing the sunshine to my day. Since the hostage – taking in Texas, I have been spiraling down and this gave me hope. I really needed this.”
Even before learning the telling statistic— 33% of Young Judaea camp applicants request financial aid—people donated when signing up for Seattle Hadassah’s event, “Electrifying Africa—How Captain Sunshine is Building Bridges with Clean Energy.” Thank you so much to all of you who made an investment in the future.
To donate to Young Judaea scholarships: https://www.hadassah.org/donate/simple
Note: Seattle Hadassah currently has an Annual Giving Campaign. Please know that Young Judaea is one of the areas to direct your donations. However, first you need to get your Annual Giving account set up. Contact Ettie Davis: email@example.com or Ian Merles, Annual Giving Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information about Yosef Abramowitz and Anne Heyman z”l :
Just one more account from a recent YJ Year Course grad: Look for the picture with the solar panels in the background.
Dream BIG Campaign
I can’t wait. It seems like Purim is going to be late this year. In fact, there’s going to be two Purims—and I want to get a leap on the beautiful story of Henrietta Szold who founded Hadassah that Purim of 1912, with friends there to support her. Fast forward to the present, I believe she would have felt at home at last month’s powerhouse conference “The Power of Purpose”. When Janice Weinman Shorenstein spoke about the conference, she added “The Power of Purpose and Responsibility”, which evokes the “Perseverance” Frieda Unger Rosenberg uses in her March 4, 2020 article, “Henrietta Szold — A Woman of Purpose and Perseverance”. Click to read in her column.
Reading this article will offer even the most long-standing student of Henrietta Szold new insights about her purpose in founding Hadassah Medical Organization with an emphasis on Research, supporting Young Judaea, Youth Aliyah and in the practicality of The Greatest Need. These are all the areas of Annual Giving that you can choose to personally support and feel a sense of responsibility in persevering in making the dream a reality.
In honor of Henrietta Szold, will you dare to dream BIG as we launch the Dream BIG Campaign to increase the number of members in Seattle Chapter who are Annual Givers from 71 currently to 100? The proposed date for this outdoor Annual Giving Celebration is July 31, 2022. You’ll be invited to attend in person, fingers crossed, and be recognized for your standing up for Henrietta’s dream of repairing the world.
Please call and leave a message to request an Annual Giving brochure or to ask questions: Ettie Davis 425-467-9099 (ext 1). Or feel free to contact Ian Merles, our very personable West Coast Annual Giving Officer, with questions or to set up a plan. email@example.com or 619.884.1475. Also, you can refer to: https://www.hadassah.org/donate/learn-more/annual-giving.
Next month some of our Annual Givers—Keepers of the Gate and Chai Society members—will share what is meaningful to them.
S A V E T H E D A T E
Sunday, March 20, 2022, 4pm PT
“E X P L O R I N G J E W I S H I N D I A”
Namaste and Shalom: A Virtual Tour of Jewish India
Take a trip to Jewish India! India’s Jewish heritage is a rich cultural and historical saga that stretches from biblical times until today. Explore each of India’s Jewish communities as we visit sites and synagogues in Bombay, Calcutta and Cochin. Led by Rahel Musleah, who was born in Calcutta, the seventh-generation of a Calcutta Jewish family that traces its roots to 17th-century Baghdad.
Coming this Thursday, February 3rd !!
Want to safeguard Israel’s future?
This is the talk you need to hear.What Zionism Means to Me: Young Women Share Their Truths
Thursday, February 3, 7 pm Eastern, 4 pm PacificREGISTER
You’ve probably heard it at your family table or seen it on social media … the way people talk about Israel today, particularly younger generations, can be surprising, given what many of us are accustomed to. If we truly care about safeguarding Israel’s future, we must listen to, learn from, and support these young people who are out there defending Zionism. The issues have gotten more complex, but so have the arguments in Israel’s favor. It pays to be well informed.
Join us for a compelling panel of passionate young women who are defining Zionism for themselves – and defending it in public circles. Our moderator is Stephanie Hausner, Program Officer of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
No matter your age or viewpoint, you’ll benefit from hearing these varied points of view. Listen and learn – and be inspired.
PLEASE INVITE FRIENDS AND ANYONE INTERESTED TO JOIN US FOR THIS SESSION. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL.
This is the first in a new Hadassah series titled Evolving Zionism: A Safe Space for Candid Conversations, where all views are respected and hatred has no place. Listening, learning and leading exemplify what Hadassah is about. We are a group of passionate, committed women who DO who are working to gain the tools and confidence to heal our world together.
- Full Steam Ahead for Construction of New Hadassah Rehab Center: https://www.hadassah.org/story/full-steam-ahead-for-construction-of-new-hadassah-rehab-center
- Hadassah’s Director of Nursing Poised to Fight Fifth Wave of COVID-19: https://www.hadassah.org/story/hadassahs-director-of-nursing-poised-to-fight-fifth-wave-of-covid-19
- Helping Children Deal With Trauma: https://www.hadassah.org/story/helping-children-deal-with-trauma
- Protecting Women’s Health — and Choices: A Call to Action: https://www.hadassah.org/story/protecting-womens-health-and-choices-a-call-to-action
Join us at the virtual Seattle Hadassah table for the Jewish Federation of Seattle “Connections” event on February 6th—it will be fun!
- Mazel Tov to Rochelle Roseman on the birth of her new great-granddaughter, Kairi Luna Afik, on New Year’s Day in Cary, North Carolina. Kairi is the daughter of Rochelle’s granddaughter Shifra and her husband Gal Afik.
We Mourn the Passing of
- Dolly Goldberg, mother of Michelle Goldberg, Ken (Jeri) Goldberg and Jerry Goldberg and grandmother of Hunter, Sophie and Jake. Dolly was formerly an active member of Portland Hadassah, serving as a group President.
- Shauna Gamoran, daughter of Karen Mayers Liebman and Saul Gamoran, stepdaughter of Henry Liebman and Devorah Gamoran, sister of Joel (Angiolina) Gamoran, Alex Gamoran and Erin (Eric) Haber and granddaughter of Lois Mayers, Rabbi Hillel Gamoran and Judith Gamoran.
- Paula Stern, mother of Marvin Stern (Amy Wasser) and Marion Kitz.
- Dorothy Becker, mother of Arlene (Albert) Azose, Sandy (Ruth) Becker, Kenn Becker (Tim Lusk) and Rick Becker (Gretchen Baneyx) and sister to Marlene (Steve) Burns and Lea (Dick) Fuller.
- Betsy Greenbaum, wife of Kenneth Greenbaum, mother of Jon (Kristin) Greenbaum, Cindy Greenbaum-Lindner (David Lindner) and Annette (Rabbi Charles) Lebow, sister of Dick (Patty) Stevens and Jim Stevens.
- Hannah Greendorfer, mother of Samuel (Cathy) Greendorfer, Marc (Lauri) Greendorfer and Lynne Greendorfer Castillo and sister of Ellen Laschansky.