Close to 150 guests celebrated Hadassah’s 100th anniversary at a donor brunch hosted by the organization’s Eastern Connecticut chapter on Sunday June 3 at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Norwich. In addition to a keynote speech by Nancy Falchuk, immediate past national president, guests were treated to a video produced by Centennial committee chair Sheila Horvitz, in collaboration with Michael Bernardo, representing the past, present, and future of Hadassah.
Also at the brunch, Connecticut Region vice president Sally Kleinman presented the chapter with the Henrietta Szold Award, given to the chapter for their outstanding Centennial program-ming. Chapter members also had two of their essays selected for publication in “Thin Threads,” a soon-to-be published book that includes 100 essays written by members that recount the life-changing moment that gave them their connection to Hadassah. The two winning essays were written by Eastern CT members Sheila Horvitz and 101-year old Phyllis Stern. The Thin Threads essays were displayed on big boards at the brunch.
Thin Threads Winner:
I am Phyllis Stern of Norwich, Conn.
I am one year older than Hadassah! In February, 2012, I became 101 years old.
It’s hard to believe that I was a year old when Henrietta Szold held the meeting atTemple Emanu-El which established Hadassah.
My life was transformed in 1945 when my husband and I moved to Norwich.
I had been active in the Council of Jewish Women, but a new friendship inspired me to join Hadassah and that inspiration has enriched my life.
I lived through the emotions of the terrors of World War II and the Holocaust and the struggle for a Jewish state in Palestine. Being a member of Hadassah during the years leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel was thrilling. To know that my organization was participating in the growth and development of our new homeland was fantastic and made me so proud.
It is heartbreaking that Henrietta Szold died before the State of Israel was born – but my generation lived it through her and for her.
For the last twenty years or so, I am deeply moved by my chapter giving me the honor of saying the Hamotzi at each special chapter event. And I always comment that I am so proud to be a life member of a Jewish women’s organization that has thrived and grown through all my years to be almost as old as I am!