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Message From National Leadership

Our Impact, Together: Reflections on Chagall's Windows

by Naomi Adler

Marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Tisha B'Av arrived on the heels of an incredibly moving visit here from Israel President Isaac Herzog and at a time of extreme unrest in Israel. There have been many voices weighing in — including Hadassah's — on what many see as a governmental decision worth mourning. Yet, we know our work is even more important today — and what unites us is more important than what divides us. In the face of destruction and mourning, we are united by our commitment to creation and healing.

With Jerusalem on my mind, I've been thinking of the Abbell Synagogue at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and its glorious stained-glass windows, created by the Russian-born artist Marc Chagall.

What makes stained glass so stunning is the way the pieces come together to create a bigger picture, one magnified by a light that can transform a space — and our spirits. They still do. And like stained glass, the smaller pieces of Hadassah's efforts add up to a bigger picture, one that is transformative. At our annual meetings in
Chicago earlier this month, I couldn’t have been more grateful to be surrounded by hundreds of Hadassah leaders and celebrate the impact we've made so far this year.

I hope you'll take pride in our many accomplishments that have brought us global recognition and those that have (more quietly) brought hope and healing to millions of people! Thank you for taking the time to read (and click) through some great examples:


  • News from our trauma surgeons continues to go viral throughout the world! Hadassah Ein Kerem's trauma team successfully performed a rare operation to reattach a young Palestinian boy's head to his neck following a terrible bicycling accident and the media coverage continues!

  • Last week, the Israel Ministry of Health issued its annual quality-indicators report, giving Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus and Hadassah Ein Kerem its highest rankings. That comes after Newsweek again named the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) a world leader in oncology for 2023 and recognized Hadassah as one of the world's top hospitals in cardiology and smart tech.

  • Hadassah was named among the Jewish activists and NGOs collectively awarded the 2023 Genesis Prize, the "Jewish Nobel," for our emergency medical response to the war in Ukraine, with the Hadassah Medical Organization and Hadassah International.

  • Hadassah's two youth villages in Israel celebrate big milestones this year — Meir Shfeyah turns 100 and Hadassah Neurim turns 75. In the spring, Meir Shfeyah saw its all-time largest graduating class. And Neurim's robotics team won first place in its first district competition of the season. Plans are afoot for a celebration this September!

  • In the United States, as part of our countrywide membership survey, record numbers of participants from Hadassah's seven Geographical Areas weighed in on your priorities to enhance the future of Hadassah. We heard you, and we're making tremendous strides to work more effectively, including upgrades to our technology, protocols, staffing and processes.

  • In addition to meetings with President Herzog, Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow and I have been speaking with legislators from both sides of the aisle to discuss Hadassah's priorities, as have members around the country. As a result, our policy statements and advocacy resources are routinely consulted as new bills are being introduced in Congress. In May, we welcomed our new government relations director, Elizabeth Cullen, who will continue to steer Hadassah's advocacy efforts and expand Hadassah's impact.

  • We continued our efforts to fight antisemitism, including as part of the national #StandUpToJewishHate campaign. And when the Biden-Harris administration released its national strategy to counter antisemitism, we issued a statement commending it.

  • In the post-Roe landscape, we've been working to advance women's health and reproductive health, issuing a joint statement on choice with the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and others.

  • Hadassah's new Educators Council launched in January with a virtual event that attracted hundreds of attendees, providing a firm foundation for our newest council.

  • We've seen steady success with our monthly online Hadassah Magazine Discussions. Our July session — TikTok's Leading Jewish Women — was a true inspiration. As was our virtual discussion about Jewish advocacy with Shelley Greenspan, White House Liaison to the American Jewish Community, presented by Hadassah and Young Judaea.

That's just a small sampling of what we've done so far in 2023! For even more inspiration, please read our 2022 annual report, available for the first time in a digital format; The Impact We Make. Together.

Today, Hadassah and our Hadassah family feel more unified than ever. We share the same vision and legacy, a deep love for Israel, even in moments of discord, and a commitment to building connections and giving back.

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