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Hadassah of Eastern Connecticut

Next Coffee Klatch: The History of Israel & the Arab/Israeli Conflict on Thursday, April 14, 9:30 am

Thursday, April 14 - 9:30 a.m. 
Zachs Hillel House, Connecticut College


Eastern Connecticut Hadassah's Coffee Klatch tackles important issues and brings people together for sharing of information and points of view. 

Last month's Klatch brought many people out to discuss what is happening on our college campuses concerning anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities. The upcoming Katch will follow-up with the topic: Israel and the Arab/Israeli Conflict - Myths and Realities and How We Respond. A brief history of Israel and the conflict and a pamplet produced by Hadassah called "How to Talk About Israel" are being provided for attendees to review before the klatch. The goal is to have a foundation built on knowledge and facts so that one can appropriately respond to challenges, myths and misconceptions. 

Let us learn together and from one another. For materials, inquiries, comments, and RSVP, contact: or call: 860-884-8945.

Eastern Connecticut Hadassah Receives Chapter of Excellence Award

Once again, Eastern Connecticut Hadassah has shined brightly as one for the most active and effective Hadassah chapters in the State.

At the annual Connecticut Region meeting on December 6, Eastern Connecticut was awarded with two prestigious certificates.

The chapter was recognized for its spring Donor dinner with guest speaker Elise Meyer, the daughter of the fashion innovator, John Meyer, and the creator of a vibrant exhibit at the Slater Museum about the history of the John Meyer Company in Norwich. The chapter was also honored for exceeding its goal for contributions to the completion of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower facility at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. It was also honored for participating in the Day in the District program, where the chapter sent a delegation to a meeting with Congressman Courtney to lobby for Hadassah's goals for American affairs issues - gender equity in medical research, equal pay for equal work, legislation against human trafficking and domestic violence, voting rights and women's reproductive health rights and affordable child care. The delegation also lobbied Congressman Courtney to continue his support for Israel's security through intelligence sharing and continued military assistance.

And the ultimate award - the "Metzuyan" - Chapter of Excellence Award was given to only two chapters in the state, Hartford and the Eastern Connecticut Chapter.

President Carol Curland was thrilled to continue the chapter's stellar record, having earned the prestigious Henrietta Szold Award last year as the "best" chapter in Connecticut.

"I am so proud of our chapter and our members who are constantly amazing me with their dedication, innovation and creation of wonderful programs that inspire us, educate and enlighten us and help us raise needed funds. We go from strength to strength, increasing our membership and devotion to our causes here in Connecticut and in Israel."

Hadassah's Coffee Klatch at Zachs Hillel House on February 4 at 9:30am

On Thursday morning, February 4, 2016, starting at 9:30 a.m., Hadassah's monthly Coffee Klatch promises to be a stimulating and important discussion. Rabbi Susan Schein, Director of Zachs Hillel House at Connecticut College will host the Coffee Klatch at the Zachs Hillel House and will be a featured speaker at the Klatch. Also participating will be Rabbis Rosenberg, Rabinowitz and Alter and other leaders of the community in southeastern Connecticut. Everyone is welcome. The provocative and important topic of discussion: "Jewish Student Life on the College Campus Today - Issues and Challenges."

In the past few years, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups have noted a marked increase in anti-Israel sentiment and activity on American university campuses. In our corner of the world, we have seen these issues come to life at Connecticut College.

Student groups on American campuses are sponsoring a range of programs and initiatives designed with one goal: to isolate, defame and delegitimize Israel and to marginalize and vilify the Jewish people. Many of these efforts have resulted in increased tension between students and have fostered a hostile atmosphere for pro-Israel and Jewish students. There are also concerns that the support for some of these initiatives comes from faculty members. Anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism on campus raise serious issues of free speech, academic freedom, diversity of opinion, political correctness, and college administration response and attitudes. This troubling phenomenon can contribute to an atmosphere where Jewish and pro-Israel students feel uncomfortable voicing their views or even asserting their Jewish identity.

Rabbi Schein's response is to continue her work to help enrich and foster Jewish life on the college campus: She says: "As far as I'm concerned, the richer Jewish life is on campus, the better equipped students will be to wrestle with issues pertaining to Jewish identity, Israel/Palestine and anti-Semitism. For this reason, it's critical to build and support Jewish community(ies) on campus(es)."

All in the community are welcome to join this important and challenging discussion.

Please contact or 860-884-8945 for comments and to RSVP for the Coffee Klatch.

What: Hadassah Coffee Klatch: Jewish Student Life on the College Campus

Today: Issues and Challenges

Who: Featuring Rabbi Susan Schein, Director of Zachs Hillel House and other community leaders

When: Thursday, February 4 - 9:30 a.m.

Where: Zachs Hillel House - Connecticut College

How: Comments and RSVP:; 860-884-8945

"Wear Pink" on October 26

Invitations have gone out for Hadassah of Eastern Connecticut’s 11th Annual “Wear Pink” event, a Sunday Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. on October 26 at the Holiday Inn, 10 Laura Blvd. in Norwich. Didn’t receive an invitation? No problem: all are invited—the event is open to the public. Make your reservations soon, sending contributions made payable to Hadassah to Irene Schienberg at 12 Jones Court, Norwich 06360.

As in previous years, the “Wear Pink” event is a fundraiser for Hadassah’s research and treatment of breast cancer. This year’s program, “2014: A Health Odyssey,” will feature a wide-ranging panel discussion on many aspects of women’s health. Julie Ruditsky Loffreddi, a journalist and lifestyle expert, will moderate the panel. Distinguished panelists include Judi Deglin, PharmD, speaking on “Pills for Your Ills: The most commonly used medications in Women over 50”; Renee S. Kohanski, MD, will survey “Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia: What are the options for treatment?” and Janine Sitko, MS, RD, CDN, will present “Fab Food or Fad Food: The truth behind current food fads.”

Attendees will enjoy a full breakfast, along with the opportunity to win gift certificates and other valuable prizes donated by area merchants and national chains. For more information, please call Irene Schienberg at (860) 887-3096.

Our Panelists:

Julie Ruditsky Loffredi is a nationally-recognized broadcast journalist who has appeared on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, and many news programs. A public relations and marketing consultant, she provides online and on-air tips about travel, shopping, and gift-giving.

Janine Sitko is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist with a private practice in East Lyme, specializing in weight management and disordered eating in adults and adolescents. She has done wellness presentations for Pfizer and other local organizations. Her web site is

Dr. Judi Deglin serves on the Executive Board of our Chapter. Born in New York City, she moved to Norwich at 6 months, attended Norwich public schools, and graduated from NFA. She received a BS in Pharmacy from UCONN, and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. Her Hospital Pharmacy Residency was at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and she completed a Fellowship at Hartford Hospital She has taught at West Virginia University and UCONN Schools of Pharmacy and has been Consultant Pharmacist to Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut for 30 years.

Renee Kohanski, M.D. is also a member of Hadassah of Eastern Connecticut. She is a board certified psychiatrist with added qualifications in forensic psychiatry, practicing for over twenty years. She completed her residency at Georgetown University Medical Center, serving as Chief resident in her senior year. She went on to complete her fellowship training in forensic psychiatry at the University of South Carolina, William S. Hall Psychiatric institute. She is a regular contributor to TALKERS magazine and has been heard across the country on television and radio. Dr. Kohanski maintains a busy private practice in southeastern Connecticut and has provided expert witness testimony in hundreds of criminal and civil cases.

Hadassah Leads the Way Funds raised by this signature event will be earmarked for Hadassah’s Marlene Greenebaum Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Breast Center. The Center, located on Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem campus, was dedicated on April 12, 2011. The Center’s personnel help patients deal with the initial impact of diagnosis of breast cancer and work with them during the transition to treatment at HMO’s Sharett Institute of Oncology, located near the Center. Hadassah Medical Organization has long been a pioneer in breast cancer research and treatment. Along with researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Hadassah performed and published the ground-breaking dominant genetic research on BRCA1 mutations in the Ashkenazi, or Eastern European, Jewish community.


Hadassah Book Review on November 3rd: The Golem and the Jinni 

Get your copies, printed or electronic, and start reading! On Monday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m. Hadassah’s Fall Book Review will feature The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Faye Ringel, Professor Emerita of English at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, will lead the discussion of this novel, which combines Jewish and Arab folklore with the history of immigration on New York’s Lower East Side in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The New York Times wrote: “This impressive first novel manages to combine the narrative magic of The Arabian Nights with the kind of emotional depth, philosophical seriousness and good, old-fashioned storytelling found in the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer.”

Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni, is the 2014 winner of the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for Jewish fiction. For the past 30 years, Hadassah Magazine has awarded this prize to an author who has created an outstanding work of fiction on a Jewish theme.

The book review, co-sponsored by Temple Emanu-El’s Book Club, will be hosted by Robyn Krasner at her home in East Lyme. For more information and directions, call Robyn at (860) 739-7930.

Eastern Connecticut Chapter of Hadassah Honored at National Convention

By Sheila Horvitz

From July 21-23 in Las Vegas, Hadassah held it 97th National Convention, attended by approximately 750 delegates, including Eastern Connecticut chapter delegate, Kim Fischburg, Organizational Vice - President of the Chapter.

Kim Fischburg, Organizational Vice-President of the Eastern CT chapter on the left holding the Certificate with Marcie Natan, President of National Hadassah in the Center and Sally Kleinman, President of the CT Region of Hadassah on the right.

The theme of the Convention was "Inspire, Imagine and Ignite. Inspire the Passion, Imagine the Possibilities and Ignite the Spark."

Kim was on hand to receive the Chapter's PRAZE Award for Advocacy - an Honorable Mention Prize for the chapter's POWER OF PURPLE Campaign and programs established to bring education and awareness to the community on domestic violence. Hadassah created the POWER OF PURPLE Campaign in partnership with Safe Futures and other community organizations, a unique community effort, spearheaded by the chapter and its American Affairs section. 

"I was so proud to stand with the President of National Hadassah and the President of our Ct. Region and to accept the award on behalf of our chapter", Kim said. "The Convention was exciting, inspiring, thought-provoking and educational."

The June Walker Advocacy in Action Award congratulates the Eastern Connecticut Chapter "For empowering Jewish women to speak out, take action against injustice, and bring issues that matter to the forefront."

PRAZE stands for Program, Advocacy, Zionism and Education. Hadassah women need to be empowered and to empower others through education and action.

While many people often only think of Hadassah as the shepherd of its hospitals and colleges and other facilities it operates in Israel, Hadassah's mission is so much more - and includes education and advocacy here in the United States, empowering its members to take stands on the important issues facing American women and families - from women's reproductive health, to equal rights in medicine and in the workplace, to domestic violence, human trafficking, voting rights and the environment, to name but a few issues Hadassah highlights.

Hadassah's founder, Henrietta Szold, was an American scholar and educator before she founded Hadassah in 1912. She saw Hadassah's mission, not only as a way to provide needed health and education services in Palestine, but as a way to empower American women to seek fulfillment and meaning in advocating for their rights and the rights of others in their American community. She herself was an advocate far ahead of her time. The daughter of a Rabbi, she challenged the Conservative rabbinate when she enrolled in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America around the turn of the 20th century, but was only allowed to attend if she would promise that she would not seek to become a rabbi. As the country was welcoming immigrants from Eastern Europe, she created the model for nighttime English schools.

Each year at the National Convention, delegates debate and discuss policy actions and create formal policy positions on issues ranging from disparities in medical treatment and research for women's health issues, human trafficking, women's heart health, the current health insurance law, voting rights and religious freedom and separation of church and state.

Hadassah members serve as monitors and lobbyists for Hadassah's policy positions in every Congressional district and have a meaningful and powerful presence in the Congress and the White House.

As Kim Fischburg says: "What gets me really excited about Hadassah is that it cares about the things I care about. You know what Hadassah's research and policy positions really mean when you realize what a reward it is to know that Hadassah is part of the solution - whether in helping to find a cure for breast cancer with its world class hospitals in Israel - or lending its powerful 300,000 strong voice to fight domestic violence here in American and in Israel"