Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Hadassah Empire Our Grandmothers Built

College starts today. Tremendous success to all those young people who are starting out on the road to a better education and a career that will benefit their family and society.
As I noticed the young people streaming in to the Hadassah College in Jerusalem, my thought wandered in place and time to all the little young and old ladies who spent their lives (literally) raising money for Hadassah. 
"Come to a Hadassah meeting, Sadie. We're raising money for a new school for children in Israel. A college so they can be trained for the future." "Oooooh. Israel. That's so beautiful, Gertrude, I'll be there!!"
Thanks to all those little ladies who paid to attend lectures, luncheons, pot luck dinners and theater matinees, thousands of youngsters are receiving the chance of a lifetime - a top drawer education.
Thanks to all those little Bubbies and Grammas who weren't embarrassed to talk their neighbors into buying raffle tickets to benefit children in Israel, thousands of young people are slinging their backpacks over their shoulders today and heading to (not one, but) two campuses of Hadassah College to learn to be dentists, optometrists, computer programmers, designers, office managers, administrators and on and on.
Thank you to the ladies of Hadassah who never tired of asking others to join on, to become life members, to work to make enough money to earn a necklace, a pin, a charm. 
Those sweet charms also built two giant hospital complexes - among the best in the world.
Looking at the massive structures at Hadassah Ein Kerem and Hadassah Mount Scopus hospitals, it's difficult to believe that these life saving complexes were build by little old ladies, who probably shed a tear of happiness every time they sent away their regular donation to their Hadassah chapter.
They are the great women of our generation and our previous generation.
They were and remain lovers of the people and the land of Israel.
They are the women who should be honored and raised upon the shoulders of the young people entering Hadassah College today or who leave Hadassah Hospital healthy and whole.
Here's to Bubby Sadie and Gramma Bessie, Tanta Selma and Auntie Rhoda and the thousands of women wearing their Hadassah pins. You are the founders of a giant empire of chesed (loving kindness) that is making Israel's todays and tomorrows much brighter in every way.

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