Thursday, July 18, 2019

Show Me the Way to Go Home

Thursday is the last of this whirlwind trip. Everyone is up early and wearing a red shirt to support women's health and reproductive rights. We are given signs to carry and proceed out to 73rd Street to protest. What energy as we chanted and encouraged passing vehicles to blow their horns in support.

Back inside we had a continental breakfast and I said my goodbyes as I had to get to the airport.

I caught an airport shuttle at 10:30 and had plenty of time to drive to JFK and grab some lunch before my flight. All went well and we were on time. It was raining in New York and the sky was clear all during the flight. When we got to Savannah we approached and the pilot put down the landing gear. Next thing we were gaining altitude as the tower had waved us off due to a thunderstorm right over the airport. We circled for a while and then flew to Charleston as we did not have enough fuel to wait for the weather to clear. On the ground we got fuel and had to wait while a repair was made to a luggage compartment door. We finally flew back and arrived three hours late. Poor Jeff and Sirius had been waiting all this time in the cell phone parking lot.

All's well that ends well and we got home, I unpacked and declared this a successful, fun and educational trip.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Hava Nagila

Woke up early and went to the Philanthropy Networking Breakfast which started at 7:00 am. I sat with gals from chapters around the country and we shared fundraising programs. Great to meet and chat with interesting women and bring home some new ideas for our chapter.

In spare time I visited the boutique and resource area to pick up brochures and talk to staff members. Our plenary this morning was worth the trip to NY. Bari Weiss was our speaker and her words were important to hear. She is a New York Times writer and editor and is analyzing the rise of Anti-Semitism in America and has a book coming out in September.

Next speaker was Felice Friedson who is CEO and President of The Media Line, an American news agency covering the Middle East. She showed interviews with brave women form many countries involving Israel and her neighbors.

The next speaker was funny as he presented an overview of threats to Israel. He is Lieutenant Colonel Ori Eyal, Israeli Air Force Deputy Attache to the United States.

I enjoyed Adam Kaplan, Edgybees CEO, who spoke about drones and his visual intelligence business.

Next stop was a boxed lunch in a freezing cold room and then back to breakout sessions. I attended Advocacy:Influence and Impact learning how to approach and meet with Congress members. A fascinating session on the United Nations followed with two excellent speakers - Rabbi Hank Sheikopf, PhD. and an impressive young woman who is the Israeli legal consul to the UN.

More sessions followed about Youth Development, Hadassah doctors and patients giving testimony about treatment and care at the hospital. The stories are heartwarming and heartbreaking as we learned about the day to day life saving efforts by Hadassah.

Now it is time to party at the Gala Banquet. The huge ballroom was set beautifully with round tables and we enjoyed an elegant meal with wine. A highlight was the presentation of the 2019 Henrietta Szold Award to the Honorable Irwin Cotler of Montreal. He gave an incredible speech and I hung on every word. He has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Afterwards an Israeli band played all the songs we love to sing and dance to in circles and conga lines. I had a terrific time dancing and joining the other women having fun.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Tuesday morning I played hookey and met my cousin Meryl. We took the subway to the bottom of Manhattan and visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage. They are hosting an international exhibit called "Auschwitz."

The museum is located in Battery Park and the grounds are beautiful with water features and colorful flowers. Outside is a train car similar to those used to transport prisoners to the death camps.

Inside the exhibit featured two floors of grim testimony of Auschwitz, the most infamous camp. Photos, maps, items and many movies took you through arrival, daily life and death in the camp.

Movie of a Nazi Rally.

 Professional photos of the prisoners when admitted. Few of these photos survived.

A huge cauldron to prepare thin soup.

Exhibit about Anne Frank and Jews in hiding during the war.

Large model of the camp

A poignant reminder - a young boy's shoe with the sock tenderly
tucked in. He had hoped to wear these again.

We know the story and this grim reminder is frightening and important. Never Again!

Back at the convention just after lunch, I sat in on an Anti-Semitism session. I am the Region VP for Advocacy and interested in moving Hadassah's platforms forward. In the large ballroom I sat through the afternoon speakers including Hadassah's International President Rob Dorfman from Hong Kong. Our newest hospital is in Moscow.

Mission Possible continued with the HMO Director General Prof. Zeev Rotstein talking about the nuts and bolts like staff, patients and finances. Another session featured the refurbishment of the "Round" building at Ein Kerem. This original hospital need modernization and is the focus this year.

Our group walked to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Food was great and service, not so much. Back at the hotel we had evening entertainment by an a cappella group Six13. Six young men sang great and had wonderful personalities. They use popular songs and write Jewish themed words to go with the music.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Am Israel Chai

Woke up to another sunny day and met the group for our adventure. On the street I met our Rebbetzin April and another congregant who joined us for breakfast. We had yogurt at a local place and then took the subway to Hudson Yards.

We climbed to the top of The Vessel, an eight story structure that is a new sight in the city. Beautiful views all around.

I climbed to the top - 8 stories of steps.

Went into one of the adjoining buildings full of high end shops and restaurants and had lunch at Shake Shack. A true New York experience.

After taking the subway home I showered and rested for the next adventure. I went down to register and pick up my convention packet. Also made a short trip through the boutique with many Israeli artists who displayed jewelry and Judaica items.

Now it is time for dinner. We walked to the restaurant about 10 blocks passing Times Square.

Tony DiNardo's is family style Italian with really good food. We had 14 woman from our Southeastern Region. Two salads and then grilled salmon and eggplant parmigiana were served on large platters. Spaghetti and rigatoni and good bread filled us. Dessert was a gorgeous tray with cannelloni, cheesecake, tiramisu and strawberries. We were all stuffed and then walked back to the hotel for the opening plenary session.

 We met in a large ballroom with a huge stage and video screen. Excellent sound and visuals for our “Mission Possible.” Several speakers welcomed us to New York and spoke the wonderful work of Hadassah. Speakers were National President Ellen Hershkin, CEO Janice Weinman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, NY State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul,

Danny Dyan, Israeli Consul to United Nations

Herbert Block, Executive Director, American Zionist Movement

Elan S. Carr - US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

An amazing and inspiring evening. Afterwards there was a gala dessert reception. I was a good girl and went straight to my room.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


I am in New York City for the Hadassah National Convention. What an amazing city and so much has changed since we moved to the south. Left early Sunday morning and flew Jet Blue to JFK airport. There are five of us from my chapter on the flight.

Arrived at the Sheraton on 7th Avenue at 53rd Street. Rooming with Joan and nice room with large windows looking downtown. Lots of Hadassah ladies milling around the lobby and weather is hot and sunny. We went across the street to eat lunch at a small deli with exorbitant prices. Oh, welcome to The Big Apple.

Best thing is the bellman has free bottles of water so we can stay hydrated. We sat in the lobby and chatted and then I showered to get ready for the evening. I walked to West 42nd Street to meet my cousins Meryl and Rich for dinner. Since it is Bastille Day they chose a French bistro, Chez Josephine named for Josephine Baker. Cute, tiny place with a grand piano. The pianist was playing great tunes and food and decor were so nice and delicious.

We all walked to the theatre on 41st Street. We saw Pretty Woman which was totally faithful to the movie. Amazing show which I enjoyed so much. Talented cast with great voices.

Afterwards we walked back to the hotel. I showered and had a good nights sleep.