On Thursday, March 22, 2012, thousands of Hadassah Members and Associates came together across the country to toast Hadassah’s Centennial. Locally, the Nashoba Valley chapter of Hadassah celebrated at Groton’s own Main Street Café. Over fifty women, men and children celebrated 100 years of Hadassah’s partnership with Israel and the American Jewish community with fabulous food, music and enthusiasm.
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the world’s largest volunteer women’s organization, with over 300,000 members, associates and supporters. Members are motivated and inspired to strengthen their partnership with Israel, ensure Jewish continuity, and realize their potential as a dynamic force in American society. In Israel, Hadassah initiates and supports leading edge health care, education and youth institutions. In the United States, Hadassah enhances the quality of American and Jewish life through its education and Zionist youth programs, promotes health awareness, and provides personal enrichment and growth for its members.
Locally, Hadassah presents its health awareness program Check It Out ® to over 5000 high school students, including the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School. Members of the GDRHS Peer Leadership Group have stuffed information packets for this program. Hadassah also runs voter registration programs, and does advocacy work for issues important to women and children, including stem cell research, women’s rights to reproductive freedom and non-discrimination in insurance.
The Main Street Cafe served traditional Jewish and Israeli food including chicken soup with matzah balls, Israeli chopped salad, eggplant dishes and blintzes (crepes.) A quartet performed Jewish music from around the world. Hadassah member Lisa Marcus-Jones warmed up the crowd performing Ladino music from the Sephardic Jewish tradition. This music is a legacy from Spanish Jews who settled around the world. Mitchell Gorden, Nancy Kaplan (member) and Martin Plotkin joined Lisa on percussion, keyboard and violin, respectively. The range of music covered contemporary English tunes, traditional Yiddish folk songs and Hebrew melodies from around the world. The audience at times sang and danced along to the vibrant and infectious music.
Carolyn and Bob Wright were outstanding hosts, creating a special menu reflecting Jewish and Israeli food from around the world. The Main Street Café was a perfect venue for us to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Local businesses understand the importance of supporting their communities. Bob and Carolyn Wright could not have been more enthusiastic and accommodating. Members ranging from age 6 to 83 joined us from over 9 towns had a wonderful evening enjoying the wonderful food, fantastic music and ambience right here in Groton.
We extend our gratitude to Carolyn and Bob Wright, Lisa Marcus-Jones, Mitchell Gordon, Nancy Kaplan, and Martin Plotkin for making our celebration such a success.
Organizational Vice President
Northern New England Region Hadassah