HADASSAH MONTANA UPDATE
Dear Hadassah Montana,
Happy 2020! Nancy Oyer here, your statewide chapter president, for one more year. This letter will give you a quick overview of some past and upcoming highlights for us. Here are the topics!
Hadassah Shabbat / Shabbat Zachor
Hadassah Mission to Israel
Inspirational Hadassah Stories
Important Dates for all of Hadassah Montana 2020:
• April 25-27 – Desert Mountain Region (DMR) Board Meeting – Las Vegas, NV
• September 11-13 – FAB 5 Regional Conference – San Diego, CA
• October 23-25 – Hadassah Montana Annual Meeting (Location To Be Determined – Working on Helena Area) SAVE THE DATE!
• December 5-7 – DMR Annual Conference – Location To Be Determined
We are part of the Desert Mountain Region of Hadassah. Our region is a vertical slice of the US, with chapters from Montana down to Arizona and New Mexico. We are pink:
Our new region president, Renee Sidman, of Colorado Springs, is recovering from a concussion. She is easing into computer and telephone work (and can’t look at screens all day). She welcomes your Hadassah cards and certificates, and Desert Mountain Region concerns have been handled by our past president Barbara Raben in Las Vegas, and our new Organizational Vice President (OVP) Jan Klatskin in Denver. Get well cards for Renee can mailed to: 6120 Wilson Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.
Renee sent an update to the region board last week, with the following note:
First, thank you all for your good wishes. I’m easing back into things, and wanted to give you a heads up on our Region board meeting in Las Vegas April 25-27. Apparently we will be sharing LV with 400,000 others there for the NFL draft. So, make your flight reservations early. As soon as we have finalized the hotel, I’ll send out information so you can make hotel reservations. We are looking into an optional visit to the Las Vegas Holocaust center.
Our Hadassah Montana chapter has a new advisor for 2020. Allow me to introduce Lee Schreiber from Las Vegas, NV. Lee is so wonderful and I can’t wait for you to all meet her when she comes to Montana for our annual meeting (October 23-25). You can meet her sooner if you join me and go to Las Vegas in April, or San Diego in September. All are welcome to all region and national events and I encourage each and every one of you to consider going. I’ve had two phone calls with Lee, who has already successfully advised me on everything from planning our annual budget, to meeting deadlines for filling out the necessary forms our chapter needs to submit each year to region and national, to discussing types of events or fundraisers that are a great fit for our most unique, far flung chapter. Here is a photo and bio from Lee:
My name is Lee Schreiber. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have two daughters ages twenty-seven and twenty-eight. I am a professional violinist and a member
seven and twenty-eight. I am a professional violinist and a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. I am also a trained Suzuki teacher. I teach violin and viola. My students range from ages three through seventy. I am fortunate because I love what I do for a living!
I became involved with Hadassah in 2005 as a part of the Hadassah Leadership Academy training program. Learning about Hadassah has changed my life. I see Hadassah as a wonderful vehicle for Tikkum Olam (making the world a better place.) Most of my closest friends are people who I have met through Hadassah. Since 2005, I have served on my Chapter board as President of Hadassah Southern Nevada for three years. I have served on the region board as the Advocacy Chair for DMR.
This is my first year as an Area Vice President for the DMR region. I am so excited to be working with Nancy and your Montana Chapter of Hadassah. I think the way everyone stays connected with so much physical distance is admirable. I also think the energy and commitment everyone is making to Hadassah is fantastic. I would love to have Montana Hadassah members attend a DMR meeting or the Fab 5 meeting this year and show off how much energy and commitment you have for Hadassah! My hope is that I can supply information, support and encouragement that will be helpful for your endeavors this year! Thank you for all you do!
Area Vice-President, DMR
Hadassah Shabbat / Shabbat Zachor (Purim):
I am hopeful and excited our statewide chapter will have groups in multiple cities host a “Hadassah Shabbat Zachor” event on the Shabbat before Purim, OR a Hadassah Shabbat event on any Shabbat in 2020. Good News! We have one event planned already in Bozeman:
1. Bozeman/Helena: Rabbi Mark Kula and cantor Amber in Bozeman have agreed to host a Hadassah Shabbat Program on Friday Night, June 12, 2020, at Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman. Hadassah Montana will sponsor the Oneg Shabbat, and any Hadassah members present will be honored in a group aliya.
I have attached the “Shabbat Zachor Program in a Box” to this email. Will you lead this event in your community? Our chapter can contribute some funding for drinks and/or snacks so contact me!
2. Billings: Hadassah Shabbat at Congregation Beth Aaron?
3. Missoula: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at Har Shalom?
4. Flathead: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at someone’s home?
5. Great Falls: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at someone’s home or at Aitz Chayim?
Hadassah Mission to Israel:
I had a wonderful trip to Israel on Hadassah’s Interfaith Mission in December. I will give a presentation on my trip when we meet in October, but I can tell you I was so inspired after my visit to Hadassah Hospital. I am so proud of us, for our support of such an amazing place. I encourage everyone to go visit! From the healing gardens, to the full spectrum natural lightbulbs, to the high tech way of communicating updates to waiting family members to reduce stress, to presentations from enthusiastic nurses and doctors who love going to work every day, to the training of Palestinian doctors and nurses from the West bank, to the medical training through outreach to third world countries and first world countries after natural disasters, to the Chagall windows in the hospital synagogue sanctuary, it was amazing. And that was just one day!
I was in a tank on the Lebanon border. I was in the building that Eli Cohen (THE SPY) used to frequent on the Syrian border. I was in a boat in the Galilee. I was in churches in Bethlehem. I was in a Yemenite restaurant where our Interfaith group ate and danced late into the evening. I walked the beach in Tel Aviv. I floated in the Dead Sea. I ate amazing Druze food in the home of the first Druze woman to buck the system and get a driver’s license in Israel. I prayed at the Western Wall. I visited the grave at Mount Herzl of my cousin Max Steinberg the war hero, who at age 24 in 2014, was killed in Operation Protective Edge. I got to see the amazing, miraculous transformation of lives happening with the kids (who I got to meet) at our Hadassah sponsored Meir Shfeya Youth Village in the Carmel Mountains.
If this is your year to go on a trip to Israel, consider going with our region: https://secure.ayelet.com/HDAwesome2020.aspx
Inspirational Hadassah Stories:
And last but not least, here are three inspirational Hadassah stories, from Barbara Sofer, Director of PR at Hadassah in Jerusalem:
After his training for the IDF combat unit, the handsome, muscular soldier was his fittest ever. With ease, he ran up hills, carried heavy equipment, and aced weapons training. And then suddenly, he had trouble walking. Paralysis spread throughout his body. Dvir Teitelbaum, 21, was struck by Guillan-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder in which the immune system attacks the nervous system. An awful moment for Dvir was watching a mosquito feast on his arm, unable to swat it away. At Hadassah Ein Kerem his illness was treated, and then he began arduous rehabilitation at Hadassah Mount Scopus, receiving physical, occupational, neurological and psychological therapies to regain his strength and spirit. “I got my life back at Hadassah’s hospitals, “says Dvir. “I never realized how important the work of the women of Hadassah was until I needed it. How wonderful it is that you are going to expand the rehabilitation center so more soldiers like me and civilians can be helped.”‘ “Last year he couldn’t even light a candle “says Dvir’s mom Rachel Teitelbaum. “This week, we’re lighting our Hanukkah candles as a thanksgiving celebration of Dvir’s s recovery. I can’t thank you enough.” Dvir and all our soldier patients keep us safe. We must ensure their recovery. We are Hadassah: The Builders of Jerusalem.
When Inna Stepanova Zamir was 14 she didn’t know anything about being Jewish. She and her sister Anya went for the first time to Jewish Agency programs in her hometown of Kharkov, a major city in the Ukraine. “My maternal grandparents had suffered so much from Antisemitism that they didn’t want my mother to discuss our Jewishness,” she said. A Zionist flame was ignited for the sisters. They applied to take part in the Naaleh program where teens come by themselves to Israel to study. Excellent students, they were accepted, and when Inna was 15 they were living in the dorms and studying at the school at Hadassah’s Meir Shfeya Youth Aliyah Village. “There was a lot to adjust to–new language, new food, and kids who tell you everything that’s on their mind,”she says. “We were pampered city kids and suddenly I was collecting eggs and working in the dining hall.” Adjust she did. “When I went to IDF, I was better prepared than most for communal living.” She was featured in the news apprehending a terrorist trying to cross into Israel. “He looked shifty and I had experience at reading body language, “she said. Inna always had an inclination towards physics and math, and was well prepared by Meir Shfeya’s prize-winning school for studies in the faculty of Aeronautic Engineering of the Technion. She recognized Yossi Zamir, one of her engineering classmates from the army and married him. In the meantime, her parents, inspired by their Zionist daughters, moved to Israel. Inna was in the news again recently, when she won the 2019 Gemunder Prize which will fund her future studies and research. Her doctorate is , shhhhh…on timing of rocket propulsion. “I want to thank the women of Hadassah for their long support which has made Meir Shfeya the embracing, high-level educational institution it is and for caring about students like me. You provided the bridge between my childhood in the Ukraine and my life in Israel. You made me part of the Hadassah family not only when I was a student, but forever. You gave me my future.” And she is helping to secure the safety of our future.
Hadassah has been supporting Youth Aliyah sine the first teens left Europe running away from Hitler in 1933. Doesn’t it feel good to be part of this story?
“I’m so happy it feels like my wedding day,” says Esti Lerer. the petite, hazel-eyed Hassidic youth worker and mother of three told me last year. She’d just given away one of her kidneys. At 28, Lerer was among Israel’s youngest altruistic kidney donors. “Along the way, I was repeatedly told I was nuts, that I should come back at 40,”she said. “The worst was when a nephrologist in Tel Aviv tore up my file. But at Hadassah I was treated with professionalism and understanding.” When she was a teen, her best friend’s father had died of kidney disease. Esti made up her mind then to donate her kidney when she grew up. It was among the important facts about herself that she shared with her husband-to-be on their first date. The recipient, Tomer Tarfa Darja, 23, from Lod is the youngest of seven children. He made Aliyah from Ethiopia with his widowed mother when he was a toddler. He was hoping to serve in an elite IDF unit, and was taking a year in a pre-army yeshiva for extra training when he fell sick. What was first misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis turned out to be kidney disease. The surgeon for both Esti and Tomer was Dr. Abed Khalailah, whom you might remember from the National Convention in Atlanta. “It was a perfect match,” said Dr. Khailailah. Esti agrees. “A match made in heaven,” she says. Tomer has become part of Esti’s large extended family. He spends Shabbatot with them and the Lerers have even included him on family trips. He and Esti are both feeling fine. He’s back to his studies and she’s busy with work and her children. Happily the number of transplants at Hadassah Hospital is growing all the time thanks to altruistic donors like Esti. “Tomer always wants to thank me, but I need to thank him,” Esti said to me today, a year after celebrating the successful transplant. ” All I gave him was a 7 ounce kidney and he gave me a whole new sphere of joy and meaning. It’s hard to express the elation and ebullience of knowing that I am so fortunate to be able to save a life,” said Esti. She asked me to send greetings to the Hadassah supporters who have saved so many lives. To use Esti’s words, let’s feel the sphere of joy of saving so many lives. That’s the Hadassah way.
Thank you for your continued support and donations.
• Plant a tree in Israel for only $18: https://secure2.convio.net/wzoa/site/Donation2?df_id=2361&2361.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T&s_src=landingPage&s_subsrc=signatureGiving
• Designate your gift: https://secure2.convio.net/wzoa/site/Donation2?df_id=1960&1960.donation=form1&s_src=nav&_ga=2.168747875.330828082.1580020914-1903514275.1553261191
— Montana Hadassah update 1/28/2020 —