Hadassah Australia is a successful fundraiser for Hadassah Hospital. It has also conceived and developed partnerships, benefiting some of Israel’s and the international community’s most lauded organisations.
Alissa Woolf, Executive Director talks to Henry Greener on TheShtick.TV about Hadassah Australia programs.
Since joining the Hadassah International network in 2002, Hadassah Australia has become one of its most successful affiliates.
In 2016 Hadassah Australia (Hadassah Charity Limited) was endorsed by the Australian Tax office as a DGR-1 charity.
Driving Hadassah Australia’s commitment to Hadassah Hospital is a group of dedicated professional staff and volunteers.
Relationships and Communications Manager
Accounts & Database Administrator
Development Manager NSW
President – Ron Finkel
Vice-president – Harold Woolf
Treasurer – Philip Zajac
National Secretary – Julian Gillis
Ron Hoffman, Shelley Kline, Michael Krape, Michaela Lew, Jenny Lipsitz, Daniel Weinstock (Melbourne)
Barry Bloch (Perth)
Gil Abras, Vicky Gonda, Ruth Katz, Sam Perla (Sydney)
WA Volunteer Committee
Linton and Bronia Sharp, Shirley Atlas
Hadassah Australia supports a range of projects and programs at Hadassah Hospital or in association with it. These include:
Chronic day unit for children
Other important work we do
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Hadassah Australia has long supported the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah. It has been one of the signature units of the century-old hospital, in a country which values its children above all else.
We are now supporting the new PICU at Ein Kerem, which has doubled the available beds so that close to 1,000 patients can be treated annually. It is the principal centre for medical care and post-surgical intensive care for critically ill babies and children from the entire greater area of Jerusalem – which includes over one million people. Children are also referred from across Israel and other countries as well.
PICU will serve a broad age range of children–from newborn to age 14. Children with head trauma and multiple traumas; those who have undergone surgery to correct a wide variety of congenital defects, including various heart and neurological problems; and children who undergo bone marrow transplantations will all be cared for in the new PICU.
On any given day at PICU, critically ill babies and young children lie in incubators and patient bays, connected to sophisticated electronic instruments that save, sustain, and monitor their lives.
Healing and Environmental Garden
Hadassah’s new Healing and Environmental Garden on the slopes of Mt Scopus is an example of how lives can change for the better. The joint venture between Hadassah Australia and JNF Victoria is spread over 1.5 acres of prime natural bushland, adjacent to the main campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It represents a quantum leap in the way that we approach the treatment of young people with chronic illness.
Ours is the first of its kind in Israel with Australian donors leading the way. Principal support came from the families of Jack and Robert Smorgon, among the most generous Australian benefactors to Israel and local Jewish causes.
The garden is beautifully landscaped with features including a boardwalk, maze, vegetable patch, flower arcade and play spaces. It was specifically designed to include elements that enhance feelings of peace and tranquillity and encourage activity, whilst promoting positive thoughts and stimulating the healing process.
Healing gardens are now being built by children’s hospitals around the globe, including Melbourne’s new Royal Children’s Hospital. Ours is the first of its kind in Israel with Australian donors leading the way. Principal support came from the families of Jack and Robert Smorgon, among the most generous benefactors to Israel and local Jewish causes.
Dr. Shmuel Harris, a doctor at Hadassah Hospital and a member of the Smorgon family, said that the idea behind the garden combines many of the issues to which his family is committed, such as caring for children, promoting health services, protecting the environment and supporting the State of Israel.
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, said the healing garden would improve the quality of life for all residents of the city.
“What we are doing here is much more than establishing a garden: we are part of the mosaic of Jerusalem’s development and the promotion of coexistence,” he said. “This collaboration between the various organizations proves that sometimes one plus one really does equal three.”
Hadassah Rimon Mind/Body Fertility Center
The process for women undergoing IVF treatment can be long, gruelling and emotionally-draining. For some women, it will be the most challenging experience they will ever face. Thanks to Dr. Karen Friedman, the journey to motherhood has become less fraught.
The Hadassah Rimon Mind/Body Fertility Center at Hadassah’s Mt Scopus campus is a model project designed to give psychological support to women with fertility challenges. Its goal is to reduce stress and depression and thereby increase women’s chances of fertility.
Women attending the centre have access to cognitive behavioural therapy, personal and group meetings with psychologists, yoga classes, nutritional support and much more. Although similar centres already exist in leading hospitals around the world, Hadassah’s centre is the first of its kind in Israel.
The services provided are available to all women undergoing fertility treatment and are free of charge.
Dr Friedman is a cognitive behavioural therapist and mother of eight, who made aliyah to Israel 25 years ago. “Israel needs babies and every woman feels that she has to have children,” Dr Friedman says. “When infertility procedures are going slowly, a woman needs to reconnect with the positive aspects of herself.”
According to Dr Friedman, research shows that reducing stress increases the chances of conception in unexplained infertility cases. To alleviate stress, women in the program learn not only how to relax their muscles, but also how to challenge negative thoughts.
“They are encouraged to stop looking at themselves as failures if they require egg donations or other procedures or if the procedures fail to prove successful right away. The women gain strength from the social and emotional support and the friendships they develop.”
Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Director of Hadassah Mount Scopus, says that women will come to Hadassah not only because it is on the cutting edge of medicine, especially in the field of in vitro fertilization, but because the centre offers a holistic approach to this very sensitive issue.
The Center currently operates on an annual budget of US$100,000. The goal, which Hadassah Australia has ‘signed up’ for, is to expand the program to include a nutritionist and a journaling expert. No other fertility centre in Israel is providing this kind of program.
Some of the most respected voices in the diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will assemble in Jerusalem next May for a conference initiated by Hadassah Australia.
Hadassah Australia, in association with Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, AUSiMED, Monash and Melbourne Universities and Phoenix Australia, is behind a ground-breaking conference on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be held in Israel from May 21 – 23, 2017.
The International Conference on Trauma & Mental Health will be the first international conference of its kind to be held in Israel.
The opening address will be delivered by 2011 Nobel Laureate, Professor Dan Shechtman from the Haifa Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
“This is the first time that so many leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will assemble at the one conference,” says Professor Leon Piterman, Conference Co-Chair and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Berwick and Peninsula) of Monash University.
Delegates to the conference will hear some of the most respected voices representing key streams in the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
Details on the speakers, program, registration, accommodation and extra-curricular activities are available at www.traumaandmentalhealthconference.org
Hadassah Australia was established in 2002 by Ron Finkel, the current National President. Among our achievements:
- We founded the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center, which provides vital support to the many psychologically-challenged children in Jerusalem.
- We partnered with the JNF to build Israel’s first Therapeutic Garden on the slopes of beautiful Mt Scopus.
- We initiated the Goshen Project, an Australian-inspired paediatric community health program that will address treatment of chronic illnesses as well as developmental and behavioural problems among children throughout Israel.
- We created AUSiMED – the Australia Israel Medical Research Foundation – which will dramatically enhance medical research collaborations between Israel and Australia.
- We established Project Rozana, a remarkable program dedicated to raising funds for the treatment at Hadassah of critically-ill Palestinian children from the West Bank, Gaza and children from countries of conflict such as Syria and Iraq, and for the training at Hadassah of Palestinian doctors, nurses and therapists to enable them to build health capacity in their own communities.
- We are working with several renowned Australian institutions outside of the Jewish community, including the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, to build significant partnerships that will enhance Hadassah Hospital.
In 2012 we celebrated the centennial of Hadassah in Israel and the first decade of Hadassah in Australia. From humble beginnings as a small “outpost” run by volunteers, Hadassah Australia has grown into a very successful organisation with a permanent office and professional staff, backed by a growing base of supporters across the country. Hadassah Australia provides substantial and meaningful support for Hadassah Hospital, both financially and through a range of collaborative programs and activities.