It was June 1988 – 23 years ago when I was installed as President of Edmonton Hadassah-WIZO. I was 41-years-old. It was a time when Edmonton Hadassah-WIZO was booming with 6 chapters all raising funds for a common goal to support our many projects in Israel: Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Hadassim School and Youth Village, the Edmonton Daycare Centre (now the Sandy Martin Alberta Daycare Centre), Nahalal Youth Village, Netanya Technological High School, the Neri Bloomfield Academy of Design, and many more. We held an annual Bazaar, which brought our members together, had Youth Aliyah Dinners, Medical Services teas, Gift wrapping, and other small fundraisers.
Even though times have changed and we now have an Annual Campaign where we ask our members to donate one time, CHW Edmonton Centre still does other fundraisers, Games Day, Petals for Passover, and Casinos, which help our projects both in Israel and Canada. From funds raised through our casino, we are able to provide scholarships to women at the University of Alberta Women’s Studies program and to the Terry Horwitz Memorial Fund in Early Child Care, at Grant MacEwan on a yearly basis. In August we hosted a very successful Casino Night at West Edmonton Mall, managed by Herb Freedman and Linda Rabinovitch.
We held a very exciting opening event on October 18 at the Telus World of Science with guest speakers. Rifka Kushner was one; she spoke about her passion, which is volunteering in Uganda – it was an amazing story. Our other guest speaker was Eleanor Johnston from CJPAC, who spoke of her passion of being raised as a Jewish women, following her roots, and now spreading the ideals of being Jewish in the political arena, whereby she speaks to members of parliament of all political parties across the country, to raise awareness of the many areas we are involved in both in Canada and Israel.
Times may have changed, but my goals for CHW Edmonton Centre have not changed. My challenge is to do more fundraisers and to attract young members to join, whether it is to help with a fundraiser or event, or just come to a meeting with their friends to learn about the greatest Jewish women’s organization in Canada and perhaps do a small fundraiser with their peers.
May we go from strength to strength.