The new Hadassah Australia board of management met in February, charged with a sense of urgency. All of our key programs involve children, the most vulnerable group in Israel and the one that is bearing the brunt of the ‘lone wolf’ attacks by predominantly young Palestinians.
Most of these programs bear the distinct imprint of Australia:
- The Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center has been supported by the Australian community since its inception in 2006 and remains its largest non-government funder. The current crisis is exacerbating an already chronically-underfunded service, so the focus for 2016 is to increase our level of support.
- Goshen is an innovative community paediatric healthcare program inspired by Professor Frank Oberklaid of the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Not only is it driving a new paradigm in the holistic treatment of children in Israel, but it will define Israel in the future by addressing developmental and family problems before they negatively impact on society.
- Equity, fairness, human rights and a commitment to core Jewish values underpin Project Rozana, a multi-faith initiative created by Hadassah Australia. The program is raising funds for the training of Palestinian doctors, nurses and therapists at Hadassah in order to increase the health capacity of Palestinian communities, and to provide top-up funding to ensure that chronically-ill Palestinian children can continue their treatment at Hadassah.
- The influence of Project Rozana has continued with an agreement to partner with Road to Recovery, an Israeli NGO that provides free transport from checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza for Palestinians attending Hadassah and other hospitals in Israel. The addition of a volunteer-based transport service to the treatment and training of Palestinians is central to Project Rozana and to Australia’s role in Hadassah’s humanitarian mission.
- Continued support for the Medical Clown Program at Hadassah will be highlighted by a new Purim Campaign using the hospital’s senior clown, David ‘DuSH’ Barashi, as its ambassador. It follows on from a highly-successful program involving DuSH that was introduced into Australia in 2015.“Our message to the Australian community is that Hadassah Hospital is more than just a hospital and an outstanding example of what differentiates Israel from its neighbours.
Ron Finkel, the President of Hadassah Australia, said that on a per capita basis Australia is one of the most successful of the Hadassah International affiliates.
“Our message to the Australian community is that Hadassah Hospital is more than just a hospital and an outstanding example of what differentiates Israel from its neighbours.
“This is evidenced by Hadassah’s rich tradition of outreach in addition to its work as a principled centre for healing, teaching, and research.”
Comments from some participating Board members:
“It was great to be part of an enthusiastic, dedicated Board, full of fresh and innovative ideas and energy.”
Ruth Katz (Sydney)
“The conference was thought-provoking and inspirational. I was totally motivated by the passion of the speakers and feel totally committed to raising funds for a cause I believe is so worthwhile.”
Jenny Lipsitz (Melbourne)
“It reinforced my passion for the work of Hadassah and gave me a stronger sense of connectedness to the team across Australia.”
Barry Bloch (Perth)
“It was inspiring to be amongst and work with such a high calibre, motivated group of people. Spanning multiple generations and having varied professional backgrounds and life experiences, our similar values and common goal were clear – improving Israel and building bridges through Hadassah’s unique initiatives.”
Rafi Luber (Melbourne)
“It was a fantastic way for a volunteer board to bond and learn and get excited about the coming year. We need now to build on the momentum.”
Philip Zajac (Melbourne)
“I was grateful to gain enormous knowledge simply from general discussion on practical ways that we as committee members can pro-actively work both digitally and socially in our own circles and beyond to make that small difference in the world. The weekend provided us with the inspiration to become more involved in giving on a day to day basis, as individuals in our own right, which is particularly important for our Hadassah NSW group until the captain of the NSW ship is chosen. Both my husband and I found the presentation by Tracie Olcha truly inspirational.”
Vicky Gonda (Sydney)