As we draw closer to Rosh Hashanah, I am reflecting on the recent activities of Hadassah Australia and what has inspired me and our team.
We were deeply moved and proud when, in early August, we received the photos, saw the images and watched the videos of the inspiring speeches that celebrated the official unveiling of the Gandel Rehabilitation Center at Mt Scopus. It is clear that we are witnessing a transformation for Jerusalem and Israel – the Gandel gift will drastically change and improve the lives of patients and their families; it will be a giant leap forward for rehabilitation healthcare. Hearing the spontaneous rendition of “Me’al Pisgat Har HaZofim” brought goosebumps to all those there and here. Similarly, watching John Gandel AC speech about the beautiful and strong connection he and Pauline AC have with Israel, noting that we in our community here feel the same way, made me very emotional. I can only repeat what others have said to the Gandel Foundation: Toda Raba; Thank you!
In August we had an inspiring meeting with Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon during his recent visit to Melbourne. Well-known to many, Rabbi Rimon is not only the founder of La'Ofek ("to the horizon" in Hebrew) our Israeli partner for the Hadassah-Achotenu Ethiopian-Israeli Scholarships in Health Program, but also a man of wisdom, humour and insight. There was no doubt that his mission to build a stronger, more equitable and kinder Israeli society resonate with our own Mission.
Rabbi Rimon warmly thanked the Australia community for generously supporting the Hadassah-Achotenu initiatiive, emphasising how the program is a steppingstone for disadvantaged Ethiopian-Israelis to gain a university education and a guaranteed career in healthcare. At the same time, he reiterated the program’s importance in assisting to resolve Israel's chronic shortage of nurses and occupational therapists.
Rav Rimon later wrote to us saying:
I so much enjoyed meeting you all in Melbourne. Our partnership is very meaningful, also for the students themselves, as well as to increase the number of nurses and OTs in Israeli hospitals, and to create role models in academia for the Ethiopian community. I am so happy we were able to meet. Your support is so necessary – without it we would not be able to run this essential program.
(L-R) - Rabbi Rimon, Hadassah Australia President Ron Finkel AM, Executive Director Ruth Rosen and Development Manager Dorit Jaffe.
As we hurtle towards Rosh Hashanah, I must make mention of the wonderful Bat Ami Center and why we feel so strongly about supporting the Center for our Rosh Hashanah appeal. We are dealing with a sensitive, confronting and painful subject, but we can really make a difference to the many lives affected by violent sexual assault. You will read in this newsletter about Bat Ami’s vital role in immediate treatment and emotional support for victims of sexual assault, and many of you will remember that we raised money for the Center to purchase a new colposcope in 2018 – a lifesaver for survivors of abuse wanting to take criminal action through the courts. And now, we want to do more – specifically for the very young victims and the dedicated staff. In consultation with Dr Dvora Bauman who heads up the Bat Ami Center, we are approaching our supporters to help us raise funds for two important initiatives, first, to bring into the team a medical clown, and second to help the team overcome issues of compassion fatigue and burnout. Please read more about it and consider supporting the campaign.
In closing, you may have noticed that we have transitioned to a brand-new website at the same address. We are pleased that the new features help us better showcase what we are doing and help you navigate the pages more easily. We hope you enjoy using it. Please note that our recent Year in Review is available with a summary of the past year’s activities. Enjoy the September newsletter and I hope the stories are as inspiring and meaningful for you as they are for me.
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