Nehema Greniman Bauch, 30, a member of Hadassah International, was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel.

While living and studying in Italy, she found herself “looking for a way to connect to the Jewish community and a friend told me about Young Hadassah International.”

The idea of fundraising for Hadassah “fit like a glove,” and they began organizing their Africart fundraising exhibition. “Later I had the honor to participate in Young Hadassah’s International conference in Rome, where I met many fascinating young active members and learned a great deal about the hospital and the organization.”

Returning to Jerusalem, Bauch continued to work with Hadassah International. Bauch believed that there was a need to lighten up the patients’ rooms, to add culture and art to them, which stemmed from her own personal experiences. “For me this project was very special and started after my friend Timora Avitzur passed away when we were both 18 years old. …Perhaps you could say it started before, because my memories of visiting her at both Hadassah Har HaTzofim and Ein Karem when we were younger are mixed with feelings of isolation and confusion together with feelings of appreciation for the hospital.”

“Slowly I translated the ideas in my head into a plan to organize an art project for the hospital. Years later, when I felt ready, I contacted artists I knew and started discussing my ideas with people I trust, such as Chana Cromer, Judith Margolis, and Sharon Binder, famous Israeli artists, and I tried to understand what would really benefit the hospital.” The main idea was to install works of art on the ceilings of the intensive care unit at Hadassah-Ein Kerem. The project grew and flourished and today if one walks onto the intensive care unit he or she can observe the final result of art adorning the walls of the unit. Looking towards the future, “I would like to take my ideas a step forward. I hope to manage to focus on research regarding the art and hospital connection.”

Working with Hadassah International has strengthened Bauch’s belief that Israelis are the ones “living Hadassah,” so to speak. Hadassah’s hospitals are an integral part of Israeli reality. There, people are born and die and work; study and live. “Having lived in another country and participated in Hadassah events in other parts of the world, I realized that it is such a great privilege to actually know the hospital personally and to be able to visit it regularly rather than it being an amorphic idea one fundraises for.”

Bauch hopes “to be able to raise awareness to young students, who are unaware of the importance of Hadassah worldwide, and of its precious contribution to representing Israel around the world.” There is always much more to do, and there is always room for new initiatives. Bauch is hoping to help bridge the gap between international and Israeli volunteers. “I think there is more room for Israeli students and young professionals to be involved in Hadassah International.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to be able to participate in the convention. One of the main highlights for me was being able to hear Bernice Tannenbaum, Past President of National Hadassah and Founder of Hadassah International, speak and seeing the personality behind the scholarship I had received for the convention.”

“It has been an amazing and inspiring opportunity to be able to participate in such a historic 100-year celebration and, at the same time, it is extremely personal to me because I am presenting my own project.”

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