[by Heidi Bennett]
Chocolate, inspiration, and friendly chatter filled Ghyslain in Westport Village as Hadassah women from around the region came out to hear motivating words from Mindy Bloom, Hadassah’s national vice president. Several members from Lexington and southern Indiana were in attendance.
The afternoon started with women looking at Hadassah scrapbooks from the 1960s and 70s thanks to Life Member Zelda Tasman. Members jokingly pointed out the changes of Hadassah’s local speakers over the years; one meeting advertisement included “How to be the Perfect Jewish Wife.”
After members had the opportunity to catch up and chat, a representative from Ghyslain spoke about the company’s history and provided details about how the chocolates are made. Participants were offered a variety of pastel colored, flavorful bite-sized chocolates to try.
Mindy Bloom had tough shoes to fill after the chocolates, but she managed to hold the audience’s attention by sharing Hadassah updates from across the globe. Bloom discussed the new patient tower at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, outreach programs to teach Israeli women about important medical issues, and how Hadassah’s doctors were among the first responders in the Philippines after the recent devastating typhoon.
She also talked about how Hadassah’s schools in Israel for students living in poverty are so popular that students from middle class families are now being admitted. Bloom left the audience excited about the future of Hadassah while reflecting on the past.
After listening to Bloom’s update and reasons to support Hadassah, participants were introduced to the launch of Hadassah’s new Chai Society campaign. The program, which asks for a donation of $15 a month, or $180 a year (Chai) allows participants to choose where to direct their contributions among Hadassah programs including: medicine and healthcare, Youth Aliyah, Young Judea or U.S. Initiatives.
Several Hadassah women chose to become Chai society members at the event and received virtual Chai shaped pins in a ceremony involving Bloom and chapter president, Michelle Elisburg. Unfortunately Central States Region President Teri Junker, who was scheduled to attend and had the actual pins, was stuck in Cincinnati due to the severe weather.
The afternoon was such a success, Hadassah plans to make it an annual event.
If you are a national Hadassah member, or would like to become a member, and want to be part of Louisville’s chapter of Hadassah please email Heidi Bennett at Heidi.Louisville.Hadassah@gmail.com for more information.