May 19, 2011

Below is a statement from Hadassah’s National President Nancy Falchuk, in response to the recent op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the New York Times.
Hadassah’s coalition partner The Israel Project has released an action alert, also found below, with a succinct synopsis of the current situation in Israel and details on how you can get involved.

At 11:40 TODAY, May 19, 2011, President Barak Obama will deliver a speech on the Middle East, likely to included mention of the Israel-Palestinian peace process.  Next week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting the U.S. and will make an address to Congress. Hadassah will continue to monitor the evolving situation in the Middle East and American foreign policies concerning the region.
Hadassah Responds To Abbas Op-Ed In New York Times
NEW YORK – An op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was published this week in the New York Times.  Nancy Falchuk, National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, issued the following statement in response:
“I was disappointed and even appalled to read Mahmoud Abbas contend in the New York Times that it was the fault of the Jewish people that war and violence erupted after the United Nations determined a Jewish homeland would be established.  Such historical revisionism does nothing to advance the conversation of negotiation toward Middle East peace, but only contributes to confusion and perpetuates misplaced anger.
On behalf of Hadassah, a 99-year-old Jewish organization founded on Zionist principles and proud of Israel’s endeavors to come to consensus with the Palestinian people, I am afraid that President Abbas’ message only serves to send the peace process a step backward.  His misinterpretation of the past is misleading to those who would like to help achieve peace in the region, and his antagonism toward talks and face-to-face negotiations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a dangerous example of the little headway that can come from such a one-sided perspective.
The fate of Palestinians’ and Israelis’ future should not be restricted by the unilateral declarations of a zealot.  Hadassah is gratified by the ways our organization has in the past – and will continue in the future – to partner with the Palestinian people, specifically in providing health care and using medicine as a bridge to cooperation, and we will not let politics get in the way of forging relationships and making certain the legacy of the State of Israel is one of cooperation and collaboration, not of prejudice and possessiveness.”
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The Israel Project Action Alert: Israel in a Time of Diplomatic Peril

Washington, May 18 – Israel is facing increasing diplomatic peril among international bodies such as the United Nations. As you may know, Palestinian President Abbas recently signed an agreement with Hamas, the Iran-backed organization on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization<> list. Hamas has fired thousands of rockets<> at Israeli civilians including 328 this year. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh recently condemned the killing of the “holy warrior” Osama bin Laden<> and called on Palestinian worshippers to pray for an end to Israel<>.

The new Palestinian unity government intends to seek recognition of a state on the 1967 borders in the U.N. General Assembly this September<>, a clear attempt to delegitimize and attack Israel<>. The Palestinians seek to make this declaration unilaterally, WITHOUT seeking a negotiated peace with Israel.

The Israel Project will be running television ads<> in Washington and New York highlighting Israel’s challenges and desire for peace while PM Netanyahu is visiting the U.S.<> and President Obama is speaking at AIPAC’s Policy Conference<>. But we need your help to call attention to this grave threat to the State of Israel.

Please use our automated system<> to send a letter to your elected officials and newspapers NOW and urge them to stand behind Israel as once more it faces an existential threat. Tell them to support a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and to oppose Palestinian efforts to circumvent the peace process.

Click HERE for talking points and facts<> that can help you write your letter, but please use your own words. Make your voice heard today!


Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Founder and President
The Israel Project


TEL AVIV (Reuters) – BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc received approval from Israel’s Health Ministry for a clinical trial of its adult stem cell therapy for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“The trial represents a significant step forward in our goal of using stem cells with neuro restoration capabilities to treat ALS,” Adrian Harel, acting CEO of BrainStorm, said on Tuesday.

BrainStorm expects to begin treating patients in the coming weeks and will work with Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February granted orphan drug designation to the company’s NurOwn adult stem cell product for the treatment of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The initial phase of the study is designed to establish the safety of NurOwn and will later be expanded to assess efficacy.

Patients will be transplanted with stem cells derived from their own bone marrow and treated with the NurOwn stem cell technology. The trial will include 24 patients, 12 in an advanced stage of the disease and 12 in an early stage.

The patients will be examined at regular intervals and followed for six months post transplantation.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. According to the ALS Association, 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by David Holmes)

Dear Friends,

Surviving breast cancer is a personal triumph. But for Marlene Greenebaum of Baltimore, living to tell her own story wasn’t enough. She and her husband Stewart became the moving forces behind a breast health treatment and research center in Jerusalem that will give thousands of other women the gift of survival.

My newest podcast features Marlene and Stewart at the recent dedication of the Marlene Greenebaum Multidisciplinary Breast Center at Hadassah Hospital. Since Marlene’s diagnosis 20 years ago, breast cancer survival rates have increased dramatically. One crucial factor in this progress is the generosity of people who are not satisfied unless they can share their good health with others.


I hope you are regularly checking our website,, for the latest news about Hadassah, our projects and our activities. Please remember to suggest to your friends that they do the same.


Nancy Falchuk
National President

April 13, 2011

JERUSALEM  (JTA) — Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem has dedicated a new breast health center.

The Marlene Greenebaum Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Breast Center at the hospital’s Ein Kerem location will serve as a one-stop shop for women’s breast care needs.

Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum of Baltimore , Md. , donated $1.4 million to fund the center and attended Tuesday’s dedication. Marlene Greenebaum is a breast cancer survivor and Stewart Greenebaum, a real estate developer, is a former member of the Hadassah Medical Center board of directors.

“Marlene’s experience made it important to us to help other women,” Stewart Greenebaum said. The couple was accompanied to Jerusalem by some of the Baltimore area’s leading cancer experts who shared their knowledge with their Israeli colleagues at a morning seminar on breast cancer research that preceded the dedication.

At the dedication, Marlene Greenebaum expressed her pleasure in being able to help Israeli women with breast cancer share her experience in the best possible manner – to receive outstanding medical care in a personalized and dignified manner. Well-known for their support of medical, communal and Jewish causes in Baltimore ,the Greenebaums also are benefactors of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.

“It will be a wonderful day for Southern Hadassah Californians to travel up–or down–to beautiful Santa Barbara for a joyous Jewish experience,”says Dorie Kirtman, Santa Barbara Hadassah Group and member of the Jewish Festival Planning Committee.

The Santa Barbara Annual Jewish Festival will be on Sunday May 15th, 10AM-4PM at Oak Park. The Santa Barbara Hadassah Group will be participating and holding a Children’s Rummage Sale.

The Festival will have musical entertainment with Congregation B’nai B’rith’s band and Adult and Youth Choirs–including a Debbie Friedman musical tribute–the Ventura Klezmer Band’s European Klezmer music and Sephardic music by the Kol Sephardic Choir. There will also be a “Mishpohcha” Stage with wonderful comedy acts. The Festival will also feature a Bubbie & Zadie Talent Show, Birthright Expo through UCSB’s Hillel, an art, essay and poetry contest on “What’s Jewcy about being Jewish”, a community blessing of our children’s ceremony with Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer and a pre-school costume parade. Included, as well, will be a meditation and movement to “Embody the Devine” guided by Rabbi Alyson Solomon—Santa Barbara’s only female Rabbi.

There will be great Jewish foods, arts & crafts vendors, Israeli dancing and kids’ activities. A silent auction will round out the festivities. An Official 63rd Israel Independence Day Ceremony and Dedication with elected Officials will be featured. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.


Hadassah Southern California will have booths at Israel Festivals throughout Southern California:

Desert/East Area – HSC Booth at Israel Festival will be on SundayMay 15th, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Temple Sinai, Palm Desert.

Orange County – HSC will be sharing a booth with Young Judaea at the OC Israel Expo on Sunday, May 22, 1:00-6:00 pm (see: )

Los Angeles County – HSC will share a booth with Young Judaea on Sun., May 15, 2011, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm in Woodley Park, Van Nuys, CA ( )

San Diego – San Diego’s Israel Festival will be at a new location yet to be announced. Check ‘Areas and Groups’, ‘San Diego’ at for more information.

March 29, 2011

(JTA) — The Hadassah Foundation has awarded $182,000 in grants for 2011 to help women from diverse cultural groups in Israel and the American Jewish community.

This year, due to the global economic turndown, in addition to funding programs in the fields of economic security for low-income Israeli women and leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States , the foundation also funded economic empowerment and financial training programs in the United States .

“The Hadassah Foundation is proud to provide support for activists and advocates who work to create social change for women and girls,” said Linda Altshuler, director of the foundation.  “Over the past decade, we have helped to leverage innovative grant-making as an important vehicle that now energizes a network of partners in philanthropy here and in Israel .”

Among this year’s grantees are the Clinic for Legal Aid for Women in Family Law at Bar-Ilan University; the Public Interest Litigation Project at the Center for Women’s Justice in Jerusalem; Itach-Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice in Tel Aviv; Shalom Bayit, a Project of the Tides Foundation in Oakland, Calif.; Gan Nashim: Growing Strong Jewish Girls through Hazon in New York; and Life$avings: Financial Literacy for Young Women, part of Jewish Women International in Washington.

Hadassah opposes any attempts to restrict, through state administrative regulations, legislation, or court action, the right to reproductive choice and/or use of family planning programs delivering any and all services. Hadassah urges chapters to join in coalitions with freedom of choice advocacy groups, participating as full members in pro-choice activities.  – Hadassah Reproductive Choice Policy Statement, July 1992

Over the last couple of weeks, the onslaught of anti-choice and anti-family planning legislation <>  has continued to move through Congress. Hadassah has joined forces with its coalition partners to stand up for women’s health and women’s reproductive rights.

On April 7, 2011, thousands of women and men will gather in Washington for the Stand Up for Women’s Health Lobby Day. The day will be packed with briefings, interfaith lobby training, a rally on the National Mall, opportunities to meet with legislators and more.

Hadassah is working closely with the National Council for Jewish Women (NCJW) and strongly supports their new campaign Voices for Reproductive Choices <> . Sign up to secure your spot in the NCJW Voices for Reproductive Choices delegation. Registrants will receive important event updates as April 7 approaches, so RSVP today <> ! Buses will be available to transport some attendees to D.C. from key cities around the country. For local delegation information and arrangements, contact the NCJW group or office in your area <> .  Contact with any questions.

Can’t make the trip to D.C.? Show your support for women’s health and reproductive services by attending local events, signing petitions, and contacting your legislators via phone, fax, email or social media!

Don’t know where to go to buy Israeli goods on March 30? My daughter just returned from Israel and brought me Olea Essence Olive Wash & Exfoliate for Face & Body. On Facebook: The entire Olea Essence line is sold online at and is sold at Orange County, San Diego and Los Angeles County Whole Foods.

Wednesday, March 30 is the fifth annual Global Day of Action by the Boycott, Divertment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, with  boycotts of stores carrying Israeli products planned across the country.  In response, members of the Jewish community have designated the same day as a Buy Israeli Goods Day.

Hadassah maintains its long-standing policy against all forms of organized boycotts, opposing destructive actions in favor of constructive dialogue in order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pursue a future of peace in the Middle East .

For additional information about Israeli products visit, maintained by the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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Northern Area Doria Group Life Member Smadar Knobler and HSC Cabinet Member Georgia Freedman-Harvey, past president of the Kesher Group will have their works featured in an art show, March 23-May 4 at the Merage Jewish Community Center.

Our Collective Jewish Experiences:Georgia Freedman-Harvey, mixed media; Smadar Knobler, silk painter; Susan Lasch Krevitt, encaustic & fiber; Meredith Strauss, fiber artist.

Slutzky Art Gallery, Merage Jewish Community Center, Irvine, CA. Go to for more information.

Pictured Image by Georgia Freedman-Harvey.