Welcome to Hadassah Australia’s December Newsletter.

As we count down the days until we take a well-earned break, I’d like to update you with highlights from one of our most successful years on record.

That success is not only counted in the amount that we raised, but in building awareness to the mission of Hadassah Hospital. More Australians than ever before are learning about the iconic Jerusalem-based hospital, which is the standard by which all other hospitals in Israel are judged. Not only has it delivered exceptional healthcare in one of the most conflicted cities in Israel, it has become a giant in hospital-based research, outstripping all other hospitals combined.

Hadassah is also celebrated for its outreach to the wider Israeli community and beyond.

Many of our programs, including those initiated in 2018, attest to that. These include:

  • Our Purim Campaign, which raised money to send Mishloach Manot to children at Hadassah in Jerusalem and to children’s hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney. A big shout out to the Australian Multicultural Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation for their wonderful support.
  • Be A Star initiative: an opportunity launched in September encouraging Australians to send a message of love and support to more than 3,500 patients who are in the care of Hadassah on any given day. This inter-communal connection was a powerful opportunity for Hadassah to promote its brand to a wide audience.
  • The STEM Neurological Disease campaign, which helped to raise funds for the pioneering work of Prof Dimitrios Karussis, who is closing in on a cure for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Support for the Bat Ami Center for Victims of Sexual Abuse at Hadassah. We learned about its remarkable work through Dr Mushira Aboo Dia, a senior obstetrician and gynaecologist at the centre who addressed public and private events Melbourne and Sydney during August.
  • Spark of Life, our last major campaign for 2018, raised more than $500,000 for the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center thanks to your support and incredibly generous donor matchers who quadrupled public donations. 

Underpinning our achievements are you – our donors. Without your passionate and considered support, we could not have reached the heights that we did. Thank you.

On behalf of our Board, management and staff, please accept our best wishes for a safe, healthy and relaxed festive season.

We look forward to re-engaging with you in 2019.

Ruth Ramone Rosen,
Executive Director, Hadassah Australia


Dr. Cyril Aarons was described as a ‘quintessential English gentleman’ whose philanthropy was driven by a life-long love of Israel and Jewish causes. In life, he was a generous benefactor and following his death earlier this year, he ensured that projects closest to his heart continued to benefit via his Estate.

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem is a major beneficiary of his largesse.

Born in 1928 in London, he served in the British forces in Israel, Egypt and Cyprus during World War Two, achieving the rank of major. Cyril was a medical doctor when he migrated to Australia with his parents. From the beginning of his working life, he supported a range of Jewish and medical causes, in Israel and Australia.

He directed that his bequest be deployed to specific programs that Hadassah Australia supports at Hadassah Hospital. These include collaborative medical research, medical clowns and improving services to traumatised children in Jerusalem.

Ron Finkel AM, President of Hadassah Australia says…

“Cyril Aarons was a major supporter of other health-related projects as well, including Magen David Adom which was able to purchase an ambulance and a medicycle. Cyril understood how important a well-resourced healthcare system is to the proper functioning of society. As a medical doctor working at the coalface, he lived this experience and made sure that children in particular were given every opportunity to live full and productive lives.”

Hadassah also pays tribute to the executors of Cyril’s estate, Asher Smith and Dr George Bognar.


We did it! Thanks to our generous matching donors and our wonderful community, Hadassah Australia raised more than $500,000 via its Spark of Life Campaign to support the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center (JCIC).

Funds raised will enable the JCIC to provide critically needed services for another 12 months.

The founding director of the JCIC, Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub, paid tribute to Australia’s continued and fundamental support. She said that support, which began with the opening of the JCIC in 2006, has ensured that vital, immediate and free counselling and treatment for children and their families will continue. Funds raised in this campaign will enable more children to heal and thrive in these difficult times.

The work of Dr Galili-Weisstub and her professional team operates in a specific context. Jerusalem is the focus of the vast majority of random incidents of terror, and children grow up in an environment which exposes them to psychological trauma and stress. Over the past 10 years, more than 2,500 Jerusalem families have had the needs of at least one of their children successfully addressed through the services of the JCIC.

Liberating a child from psychological stress liberates the parents and siblings and has a positive effect on society. Hadassah Australia felt it was important to run the crowd-funding campaign over Chanukah.

Ruth Ramone Rosen, Executive Director of Hadassah Australia, says…

“Chanukah beautifully captures the elements of hope, sparking life and igniting possibilities, the elements which link the story of Chanukah and its miracle of lights, with the story of creating a modern-day miracle for traumatised children in Jerusalem.”

We extend our sincere thanks to all those who supported this amazing campaign, including the matching donors who quadrupled each donation which allowed us to achieve this outstanding result. Our thanks also to Tania Burstin and the My Cause team.

A special message from Dr Esti Galli-Weisstub:


After Dr Mushira Abu Dia’s very powerful testimony to audiences in Melbourne and Sydney about the work of Hadassah’s Bat Ami Center for Victims of Sexual Abuse in Jerusalem, we gained a better understanding of the centre’s role in supporting victims and their families.

We also learned that beyond her work as a senior obstetrician and gynaecologist at Hadassah and as an on-call doctor at Bat Ami, Mushira is actively involved in humanitarian work in her capacity as a clinician and as co-chair of Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI).

We were thrilled to learn that she was recently awarded the prestigious New Israel Fund’s Gallanter Prize for Emerging Israeli Social Justice Leaders, in recognition of her volunteer work for PHRI.