Main photo caption from left to right: Hanna, Donor’s grand-daughter; Prof Emmanuel Messas, President, Hadassah France; Jorge Diener, Executive Director, HI
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), Hadassah International (HI), and Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) are delighted to announce a transformative donation of 5 million Euros. This generous contribution was made possible by a French anonymous donor through Hadassah France, where Prof. Emmanuel Messas serves as President and Dr. Sidney Ohanna holds the position of Honorary President. This donation will support Pediatric Oncology Research, allowing the department to reach new goals and further improve the quality of care for young patients battling cancer at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.
The decision to make this substantial gift came after the anonymous donor learned about Hadassah’s exceptional humanitarian efforts during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moved by the organization’s dedication to assisting Ukrainian refugees and learning about Hadassah France’s focus on pediatric oncology in Jerusalem, she was inspired to act. The donor first became aware of Hadassah’s achievements through an interview with Prof. Emmanuel Messas published in a French Jewish newspaper. In the interview, Prof. Messas discussed Hadassah’s vital medical humanitarian mission in Poland, offering aid to Ukrainian refugees in need.
Impressed by Hadassah’s commitment to helping those in dire circumstances and the cutting-edge research done at HMO, the donor was determined to support this noble cause. She recognized the importance of supporting the treatment and care of children facing the challenges of cancer, and as such, she decided to allocate a significant part of her generous gift to furthering Pediatric Research in the Pediatric Oncology Department at HMO.
This donation will enable Hadassah’s researchers to pioneer cancer immunotherapy clinical trials for children. At the same time, building on the recent establishment of the first organoids center in Israel at HMO, they will explore ways of providing personalized medicine for children with cancer to benefit from this advanced technology. The donation will also be utilized to upgrade the medical equipment and infrastructure of the pediatric oncology department at Hadassah Ein Kerem, enhancing the treatment capabilities for young patients. Additionally, the French website will be updated and French-Israeli collaborations will be strengthened.
The official announcement of this extraordinary donation took place on August 2, 2023, at a special event organized at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. We were privileged to have Prof. Emmanuel Messas representing Hadassah France and the donor’s granddaughter, Hanna, representing the family. This event was attended by a number of special guests including Israel Minister of Health Mr. Moshe Arbel and Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Moshe Amar, who both said words of gratitude. In addition, Mrs. Carol Ann Schwartz representing HWZOA as its incoming National President, Mrs. Dalia Itzik, Chair of the Board of Directors of HMO, Prof. Yoram Weiss, Director General of HMO, and Mr. Jorge Diener, Executive Director of HI, all spoke and thanked the family and Hadassah France for this generous donation that will save endless lives.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude on behalf of Hadassah France, Prof. Messas stated upon receiving the donation, “Hadassah France is very grateful for this extraordinary donation, which will lead to exceptional advances in the treatment of childhood cancers – in terms of early detection, targeted therapy, and follow-up care for these young patients, who have been affected far too early in their lives by such difficult diseases.”
Jorge Diener, Executive Director of Hadassah International also expressed his appreciation, saying, “This transformational donation from Hadassah France will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the lives of countless children and their families, bringing hope and healing to those battling cancer. As cancer remains the second leading cause of death in children, it represents a high priority for Hadassah, and we are thankful to Hadassah France and its donors for making this difference possible.”
Rhoda Smolow, National President of HWZOA, sent a message saying “This exceptionally generous gift will enable our colleagues at Hadassah Medical Organization to make huge strides in their efforts to tackle these pernicious cancers. The donation offers hope to young cancer patients and all who care about them.”
“My colleagues and I are overwhelmed by the scope of this gift and the potential it has to transform treatment and save lives,” said Prof. Yoram Weiss, Director General of HMO. “We offer our profound thanks to the donor and to Hadassah France and all those who helped make this gift possible.”