As President of Hadassah Rhode Island, I would like to comment on the article by Geraldine Foster. Ms. Foster correctly notes that “only one chapter of Hadassah remains in Rhode Island.” I am proud to say that Hadassah Rhode Island is one statewide chapter with over 1,100 members and associates. We encompass all of the previously existing, smaller chapters.
Hadassah was founded in 1912; its earliest mission was undertaken to help solve some of the medical issues of the Jews of Palestine. Even before Israel became a state, Hadassah established an infrastructure for the standard of excellence which is maintained today. Today our researchers are developing breakthroughs in the fields of ALS, Parkinson’s, age-related macular degeneration, as well as other diseases.
We all had different reasons for joining the various Zionist organizations. ”Our extended Jewish family needed our support.” They still need the support of the women of Rhode Island; we encourage those women who have not already connected their names to Hadassah to join with us.
We make time for Hadassah in our busy lives – time for meetings, for fund-raisers, for book groups. In fact some of our most interesting events are coming up soon. Cause for Applause (May 15) raises scholarship funds for Hadassah Academic College; Books on the Beach (August 9), our annual book and author luncheon supports Hadassah Medical Organization, and our Chai Luncheon focuses on our personal health, highlighting the ongoing medical research at Hadassah.
The Jewish state is no longer a dream but a reality in our lives. Hadassah remains both relevant and crucial to the State of Israel, and to the growth in our personal lives as Jewish women in the United States. We are still very much part of “the glory days.” Hadassah still thrives; our time and our energy are well invested.