Hadassah’s 2019 Chanukah Miracles: From Darkness to Light
The last day of Chanukah has a special name in Hebrew: Zot Chanukah. It’s as if you are pointing with your finger and saying, “That is Chanukah,” reminding us that the great light of hope can illuminate the darkness.
That is a theme of the Hadassah Medical Center, beginning with medical care for children walking around with flies in their eyes and mothers who had only a 50 percent chance of surviving childbirth.
Hadassah is a movement that saves the Jewish children of the world when they have no place to go. It is a mission that heals children from countries like Syria, where there is no help for those with complicated heart defects, and children from Ethiopia with twisted spines.
On an ongoing basis, Hadassah physicians share their medical expertise with colleagues from around the world. Each day, 70 physicians come to learn at Hadassah from the Palestinian Authority. Hundreds of others are getting their training from Hadassah staff, too.
Take, for example, ophthalmologist Eleanor Nche. She comes from Cameroon in Central Africa, a country of 23 million people with a life expectancy of 56. Over one percent of the population is blind. In 2012, four of Hadassah’s eye doctors went there and operated to restore eyesight. Dr. Eleanor, as she is fondly called at Hadassah, was so inspired by this outreach that she came to Hadassah to study.
Dr. Eleanor is also a single mom. Her father took care of her little girl while she trained at Hadassah. When he passed away suddenly, Hadassah helped get permission for the girl to come to Israel. Because Israel’s school day ends at 1:00 pm, the doctors in the ophthalmology department all contributed from their own pockets to pay for the afterschool program. That’s the Hadassah spirit, from the days of its founder Henrietta Szold until today.