Hadassah Goes to Market at Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda


As we gear up for the weekend – and many people here are getting ready to go shopping at Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market – I wanted to share this with you.

Not everyone knows that our dedicated professional extends far beyond our two hospital campuses and out into the community through unique outreach programs. Recently Hadassah literally went to market with one of these special outreach programs.

Our Women’s Health Promotion Program – created and developed by the Patricia and Russell Fleischman Women’s Health Center and partners – empowers women to become self-health advocates to promote their own physical, mental and social health. Tailor-made programs devised according to each individual community’s needs are currently held in Beit Shemesh, Abu Gosh and Jerusalem’s Gonenim neighborhood.

Hadassah locates capable volunteers and provides a training course on women’s health. These volunteers act as community leaders and help recruit local participants. Hadassah offers lectures, workshops and demonstrations on subjects such as healthy life style; proper nutrition; the importance of physical activity; home safety and ergonomics; family health; pelvic floor exercises; rights in the health system; and many more.

Every year Hadassah holds a special Women’s Health Day organized by the Fleischman Women’s Health Center team, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Health – open to the program participants and the general public. This year’s event was held recently in Jerusalem’s famed Machane Yehuda market, in keeping with the special theme – Healthy Mediterranean Nutrition.

“Since its inception in the early 20th century,” said Prof. Neri Laufer, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the start of the special day, “Hadassah has been dedicated to improving the health of the community, beginning with pre-natal and infant care. Hadassah is also committed to the health of the community today, and one of our efforts is to hold health events that are open to the general public. Having the event in the Market made the connection between healthy food and proper life style obvious – and left a taste for more.”

“More than 1,000 people participated in the event,” says Tal Atzmon, Coordinator of the Fleischman Women’s Health Center, who spearheaded the event on behalf of Hadassah. “The turnout was remarkable – mainly women, but children and men also participated. Workshops, tours, lectures and activities were held all around the Market and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Where better to hold a healthy cooking demonstration by a Hadassah Optimal chef?” Ms. Atzmon asked, “than in the middle of colorful Mahane Yehuda, where the freshest and healthiest produce can be found. We also offered culinary tours, baby massage classes by a Avia a nurse in our team, ‘physiodance,’ tai-chi, self defense demonstrations, pelvic floor strengthening exercises with a physical therapist and the Paula Method with a Miki Liebergal; historical and folklore stories about the neighborhood where the event was held. There was something for everyone.”

Hadassah Director General   Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef – who tried to work his way from one activity to the next as supportive Jerusalemites constantly stopped and congratulated him was proud of the range of activities offered and the remarkable turnout. “Our Women’s Health Promotion program is the first project of its kind in Israel. By starting with the women – the traditional family care-givers even in our modern times – Hadassah is reaching out to the entire community, improving health and raising awareness. Yet again, Hadassah is a pioneer, developing and implementing new ways of helping all the people of Israel.”

Member of Knesset Dr. Rachel Adatto, a gynecologist, lawyer and medical administrator, was part of the enormous crowd. “As a person who deals a lot with women’s health, I was happy to take part in the women’s health event in the market. The activities in Mahane Yehuda market, which represents the city of Jerusalem, were a colorful combination of exercise and proper diet spiced with the market’s fragrance and colors – the winning recipe for health.”

Municipality representative Atty. Yossi Sharabi warmly commended Hadassah saying, “Hadassah is renowned as a high level research facility and medical institution that even goes out into the community, always thinking outside the box,” he said. Through these women’s empowerment programs, Hadassah reaches the individual woman in her own community, through volunteers and partners, and the knowledge spreads throughout the city. “This is a community project par excellence.”


Even the United Nations is impressed by our unique programs! Hadassah representatives were invited to present our women’s health promotion programs to the UN in September 2008, as part of their celebrations marking 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our programs generated great interest. In addition to the important goal of promoting women’s health, the program was also perceived as a bridge to peace between women of different communities.

As the week draws to an end and we prepare for Shabbat, I thought you would be proud to hear about these special activities.

Shabbat Shalom!

Osnat Moskowitz
Hadassah Medical Organization

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