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letter from the Executive Editor

CHW TODAY:

Inspiration, Engagement, Empowerment

This past January, I arrived at Hadassim for a series of meetings. As I listened to the discussion about the French Na’aleh program, I began thinking about how much I wanted to meet these brave teenagers from France, who left their families and homes after facing daily antiSemitism to start a new life in Israel, at Hadassim. After being introduced to the teacher, I walked into the class and was met by a shuffle as each student rose from their chair. I saw beautiful faces shyly looking back at me from their desks. I introduced myself. One dark haired boy with glasses stepped forward and told us how grateful they all were for having the opportunity to start a new life away from the problems they faced in France. Pride washed over me as he expressed gratitude on behalf of his peers that we care so deeply about them. I returned to Hadassim in April with our CHW Mission, “Learn, Love, Live, Israel: The CHW Way!” We met with the French Na’aleh students in their dormitory, which was recently renovated thanks to Marilyn Libin and her family. I will never forget the looks on the students’ faces when I introduced Marilyn: they became excited, gathering around her to express their appreciation and to pose for pictures. My strongest memory from this interaction was when a mission member asked if any of the students had experienced anti-Semitism in France. The teens looked to each other, taking their time to explain, “well not really, but we did have to be careful where we went. We made sure we didn’t wear a Star of David.” Our group was confused by their calmness, their situations

National President

CLAUDIA GOLDMAN unfathomable to many. One boy exclaimed, “as soon as I got off the plane in Israel, I put my Star of David necklace on and haven’t taken it off !” My sense of purpose as to why I volunteer for CHW is abundantly clear. We are in a partnership with French families who have entrusted their children to CHW Hadassim to start a new chapter with hope and possibilities. We are in a partnership with all of the teachers, councillors, social workers, administrators and staff of Hadassim, who need our support. Most importantly, the students have become partners in our pursuit of improving life in our Jewish homeland. They need us, and I know that seeing them develop into proud young people fills my heart and reminds me how much we also need them. Hadassim is Home sincerely articulates the accomplishments of our youth village. For 98 years and counting, CHW provides care, hope, and often homes, for thousands of Israelis. We have so much to be proud of! With love, Claudia Goldman

ORAH Magazine Summer 2015 [ 4 ]

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Orah Summer 2015  

Orah Summer 2015  

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