Quarantine. Limited gatherings. Isolation. Social distancing. The past six months have been a great challenge for society worldwide and for disadvantaged populations in particular.

The graduates of the Pollin Center Leadership Training Program in East Jerusalem are recognized community leaders who will not let the pandemic get in the way of their commitment to their community. At the start of the pandemic, a group of leaders in the program, which is run by Hadassah’s Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Center for Women, contacted their mentor, Pollin Center’s Dr. Maha Nubani, for help in crafting a workaround. Their initiative and Dr. Nubani’s enthusiastic ongoing mentoring triggered a transformation— and thus the Zoom community health promotion program was born.

Stage one was for the leaders to introduce the community women to Zoom: what it is, how to download it, and how to use it. Zoom does not have an Arabic-language version, making the instructions unreadable for many. So the youngest community leader produced a short video that explained how to use this resource. The video, coupled with the camaraderie of the graduates, brought the group together again while still upholding social distancing.

Stage two brought the focus back to the community. Women contacted neighbors and friends and offered them the opportunity to continue learning and advancing through Zoom. Under Dr. Nubani’s ongoing guidance, the leaders developed presentations on a variety of health topics. They also recruited health professionals to join sessions, spreading the information the community needed. These efforts have digitally empowered community women far beyond the realm of just health information.

It will take a lot more than a pandemic to hold back Pollin Center leaders!