I had another Hadassah speaking event today on life in Israel as a new immigrant who has lived in both Israel Proper and Palestinian East Jerusalem, and I can’t begin to describe the joy I feel when I am able to share my unique story with so many wonderful people. At the end of my presentation I was able to answer questions about life in Israel during two wars with Gaza, policy questions about the nuclear situation in Iran and America’s response, and I was able to highlight (to the best of my ability) the amazing work the Israeli/American lobbies are doing in Washington DC to ensure that Israel remains safe and strong. Today was actually a great rehearsal for the speech I will be giving next week at the big Hadassah of Southern California’s Winter Conference where I will be able to share my story and meet so many wonderful people who donate their time and money to ensure that Israel remains at the forefront of medical care, research, and innovation.
For those of you who don’t know, Hadassah is a national organization (with state and city wide chapters) that raises money for the Hadassah hospital and research centers in Jerusalem. Because of money raised by the Hadassah chapters of the United States Hadassah has remained one of the top medical institutions in the world, conducting research that has revolutionized cancer treatments, ALS treatments, medical technology that has allowed paraplegics and quadriplegics to walk again, and so much more. I have always grown up in a Hadassah family with both my mother and grandmother being past presidents of their respective chapters, and being able to do my part to bring awareness about this organization as an adult has been beyond rewarding. I have been a life member of Hadassah since I was 16 years old, and as an American and an Israeli my heart is filled with pride to see the amazing work that this hospital is able to do because of the immense support it has from such generous people all over the United States and the world at large.
Hospitals in a war zone
Despite feeling safer in Israel, even during wars and offensives, than I do anywhere else in the world, the fact of the matter is that we live in the heart of a region rattled with constant conflict surrounded by enemies that would love nothing more than to see us wiped of the map. That is the reality of our situation, and because this is our reality we need to ensure that every citizen, Jew, Cristian, and Muslim is kept safe during any time of conflict. The demographics inside of Jerusalem alone (not including the West Bank) are comprised of a population made up of over 35% being Muslim and 2% being observers of the Christian faith, and Hadassah hospital serves each and every one of these people and the 63% of the remaining population who are Jewish.
Hadassah has housed and cared for members of Knesset and family members of Hamas alike. Hadassah has catered to both terrorists and their victims. The doctors, nurses, and staff members of Hadassah hospital know only one thing… How to save lives, because in Judaism, despite what you may hear or read in the media, every life is precious. Those of you who follow the news know that Iran is trying with all their might to develop nuclear weapons, with Syria and Lebanon, both in the pockets of Iran, being known to have chemical weapons at their disposal, and still that won’t stop Hadassah from doing everything to safeguard the lives of the sick and defenseless in their hospital if, God forbid, and attack of a nuclear or chemical nature were ever to occur. Something that is, unfortunately, more likely than not. Hadassah is currently constructing below ground fortresses that will function as an underground hospital fortified to protect against rockets, bombs, chemical attacks, etc in the event that patients will have to be moved because of such an attack. It is a necessary and life saving addition to this already phenomenal hospital, and thousands of sick, weak, and defenseless patients will have one less thing to worry about when they are in the care of the amazing staff that keeps this hospital running, because when you live in Israel there is always that worry that today will be the day we are attacked.
A Jewish Issue?
I have been blessed with many readers of this blog who are not Jewish, and I want to stress how supporting this hospital goes so far beyond being a Jewish or Zionist issue. Think of the hundreds and thousands of tourists (Christian and Muslim) who visit Jerusalem every day. After all, it is one of the holiest cities to followers of all three religions. What if one of them were sick or injured during an attack on Israel? Think of both the Jews and Muslims who work for Hadassah saving lives of every person who comes through their doors regardless of race, religion, gender, or whatever other discriminating trait someone might have. Israel, and the greater Middle East, may be in a constant state of war, but this hospital is a haven in a storm of aggression, protecting Arab and Jew alike.
I know most of you who read this won’t donate money to help this hospital finish their underground addition, but the next time there is a war, and there will be another war, many of the injured on both sides will be taken to Hadassah, and they all deserve to be safe. Until the end of the year every donation made to Hadassah for the purpose of supporting this new addition will be matched in full, which means we all have the chance to make a huge difference even if we can’t donate much monetarily. Every little bit counts and can save lives.
If you feel so inclined to DONATE I know I would certainly appreciate it as well as the thousands of people whose lives will be protected when this addition is complete. You can DONATE HERE, or contact me personally and I will give you instructions on how to contact your local Hadassah chapter to make a donation.
Your help will save so many lives, and as an Israeli and an American I thank you from the bottom of my heart.