March 2022

President’s Message



According to Google search trends of 2021, what do you think was the fifth most searched recipe in the entire country?  Yep, hamantaschen. Leah of, is sharing her own recipe here. Another website I visited was Chabad.orgHere I learned that while many of us grew up with the German or Yiddish word tasch, meaning “pocket,” “tash” means “weaken” in Hebrew.  So, whether you’re eating Haman’s pockets, Haman weakeners or Haman’s ears (Oznei Haman), they all taste delicious.

While it is well-known that, in 1912, Henrietta Szold founded Hadassah on Purim— a deadly serious holiday hiding behind seeming frivolity— I submit the timing was a stroke of genius.  It forever ties our organization to a holiday that celebrates the hidden strength of women.  The name Esther means hidden or conceal.  Being in on Esther’s secret—that she is a Jew chosen to be Queen of Persia in order to save Jews from Haman’s plot to kill and destroy them—only adds to Purim’s delight.  We also never tire of seeing Esther’s strength grow as Haman’s weakens or of being reminded that Esther’s name is Hadassah in Hebrew.  Like Esther, Henrietta Szold had learned the lesson that a woman’s voice was to be subdued, until at age 52, she found her own courage to establish and lead a dream-big Zionist women’s organization. 

I am sure that, as a scholar, Szold knew the Talmud requires us to increase the joy—merry-making— during the month of Adar.  I believe founding Hadassah in Adar does increase the joy, giving us more to be proud of.  Yes, Haman’s attempted genocide of the Jewish people was averted, but the Jews still lived in dangerous times.  We still do. As the late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote in March 2015, “The very existence of Purim in our historical memory is traumatic.  The Jewish response to trauma is counterintuitive and extraordinary. You defeat fear by joy. You conquer terror by collective celebration.”  He sees this unique Purim joy as therapeutic: “Humour is the Jewish way of defeating hate. What you can laugh at, you cannot be held captive by.” 

Looking forward to finding out together how Purim is celebrated in India as we have a chance to “travel” there virtually on March 20,


Seattle Chapter

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. Register here

Talya Sarit Gillman

We are excited to have Talya Gillman as our moderator.  Her good friend, Gina Newman, who is an ex- officio member on the Hadassah board as part of the Jewish Federation’s Courageous Leadership Incubator, reached out to Talya because Gina knows her special connection with India.  Reading her bio, you’ll see Talya’s compassionate involvement in critical human issues extends worldwide.

Talya develops experiences and resources that spark and support care-full social action and community building. Many experiences and relationships have helped her explore the importance (and complexity!) of human dignity and interdependence. 

She has designed and led programs with organizations including Citizen University, Jewish Family Service, At The Well, UW and Repair the World. Talya received the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize for emerging Jewish educators; spent time organizing Jewish anti-racist and migrant justice networks; completed an M.A. in Transformational Leadership at Seattle University; served as an AJWS World Partners Fellow supporting Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust’s harm reduction work in Mumbai; and assisted ATZUM’s anti-sex trafficking work in Israel.  



   Dream BIG Campaign for Seattle Hadassah


You have the power to join with other Hadassah members who are already feeling more joy through giving.  You can make a difference in the lives of others on a regular basis, as a Keeper of the Gate or a Chai Society member.

In honor of Purim and

Henrietta Szold, will you dare to dream BIG and join our Dream BIG Campaign to increase the number of members in Seattle Chapter who are Annual Givers from 71 currently to 100? July 31, 2022 is the proposed date for an outdoor Annual Giving Celebration.  Plans are underway! 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.  or  619.884.1475. Also, you can refer to:

Read…our Annual Givers share what is meaningful to them…

Soon after I joined Hadassah and learned what vital work we were doing in Israel and around the world, I became a Chai Society member and gave what I could to support the cause. Toward the end of my time as PNW Region co-president, I stepped up to become a Keeper. My love of Hadassah only grew with the work I did with co-president Brandy Moss.Our trip to Israel in 2019 was a great opportunity to visit our hospitals again, see a youth village, and talk to the young people thriving in that setting. 
  —Donna Gordon Blankinship

I’m a member of Hadassah because my mother and my mother-in-law were members of Hadassah. I remember going to meetings on Mercer island in the 60’s.
Remember when you (Ettie) were my daughter’s Girl Scout leader years ago? She went on to work for Young Judaea for 4 years (probably influenced by your leadership!). So did Ken! We are thankful our kids had the chance to be a part of Hadassah and strong Jewish programs in Seattle. We’d like to support Young Judaea or youth programming so other youth can have these same opportunities.
  —Sharon Wehl



Hadassah Statement on the Safety of Ukrainians:…/hadassah-statement-on-the…



The Road Beyond Roe: Advocating For Reproductive Rights:  It’s been 49 years since the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and the fight for reproductive rights rages on. “Roe set the precedent that patients have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health,” said Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow at Hadassah’s program The Road Beyond Roe: Advocating for Reproductive Rights on January 18, 2022. “They have the choice of when or if to carry a pregnancy. And the freedom to decide – based on medical guidance and their own values – what is best for their health and the plan for their family. Trust that women are fully capable and the most important decision-makers over their health and their bodies.”  Click to read more:
Hadassah Condemns Amnesty International’s Slanderous Anti-Israel Report:
Beyond     Seattle


Virtual Event: Celebrating 50 Years of Female Rabbis

Thursday, March 10 at 4PM PT

Join us as Hadassah Magazine Executive Editor Lisa Hostein moderates a panel that will feature Rabbis Sally Priesand, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Amy Eilberg and Rabba Sara Hurwitz, all of whom made history by becoming the first ordained rabbis in their respective denominations.

This event is free and open to all.       Register Now


 Health News

Our Heart 💙

❤️ Did you know that the signs of a heart attack are different for women than men? Knowing the difference saves lives — and it has, including women in our own Hadassah family.  ❤️ Please, spread the word. 
 At Hadassah, we’re committed to saving lives and advancing women’s heart health in the US, Israel and around the world. Every day, Hadassah’s research, health & wellness programs and advocacy efforts are helping more women live longer, healthier lives. 💙

Breakthroughs, Risks and Warning Signs, An Insider’s Tip for a Healthy Heart:

NATIONAL ACTION CENTER — Advocate with Hadassah in support of a bipartisan resolution on women’s cardiovascular health:




Let’s Go To One of Our Favorite Seattle Events—The Seattle Jewish Film Festival— it will be fun!


Membership Report

Welcome New Member

  • Sarah Piha

Welcome Transferring Members

  • Mindy Cohen

We Mourn the Passing of

  • Elton Stanley Lipnick, father of Amy (Myles) Kelman and grandfather of Elenor and Charles.
  • Deborah Senn, wife of Rudy Bertschi. Deborah served as Washington State’s first woman insurance commissioner in the 1990’s.
Tributes to Hadassah can be made online here

Do you have news of family events to share with us? We are happy to include announcements about weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthdays, births, and passings in the Membership News section of our monthly newsletter. Please send notices to