CHW Weekly Stories

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)

A new emergency shelter for women and children has been opened in response to the increase in domestic abuse cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The writing was on the wall, in blood”

Ora Korazim, Chairperson of WIZO Israel, in a TV interview with Kan News

Home isolation aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus has triggered a dangerous wave of violence against women. Since the start of Israel’s lockdown, five women have been brutally murdered by their partners. Ora Korazim, Chairperson of WIZO Israel, reflects on the opening of Beit Heuss Emergency Shelter for Women and Children this past week:


 

I have been privileged to chair WIZO’s Israel Federation for almost a year now. But the last 2 months have been by far the most intense, emotional, challenging and proud months I have experienced in this organization.

 

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our social efforts were targeted at women living in violence, single mothers, teenage girls and children at risk.  

 

Since the Israeli government imposed a lockdown, 5 women were murdered! 

 

The writing was on the wall, in blood.  

 

We need to speak up and take action!

 

Hotlines and women’s shelters throughout Israel are reporting a spike in domestic abuse cases and finding it difficult to provide solutions for those women in need.

‘WIZO- doing what matters’ isn’t just a slogan. This is exactly what we do!  We are the first and only organization to open a new shelter in Israel in over 15 years.

 

We have been working 24/7 to urgently get all official approvals from the Ministry of Welfare. We recruited professional staff and luckily received huge support from our professional teams from Ashdod and Jerusalem shelters.  

 

After only 5 days of operating, this life saving shelter is near capacity with 10 women and 19 children.

 

Upon arriving, one of the women who ran away from the hell of domestic abuse, shared:

 

“Just being in this beautiful place is a healing experience.”

 

We are literally saving lives and bringing smiles to children that only a week ago were experiencing the most horrific time of their lives. They are now playing, talking and walking without fear.  

 

They are finally safe.

The Beit Heuss Emergency Shelter for Women and Children

Ora Korazim, Chairperson of WIZO Israel, wears a mask that reads: ‘Covered mouth, but won’t be silenced.’

Coronavirus Pandemic & The Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Dr. Jessica Ross, a fourth year pediatric resident at the Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh), shares her journey from New York to Tel Aviv, and why she feels lucky and safer in Israel at the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I always loved Israel and was delighted when I got accepted to The Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. I had a great experience as a student and wanted to stay on after graduation.  Israel felt right for me. I also met my husband during my last year of studies. He’s originally from New Zealand and we now live in Tel Aviv with our three-year-old daughter.

I did my residency at different hospitals, including an elective at Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh). I grew to love the warm and supportive working environment, especially in Pediatrics. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and seen first-hand how it has transitioned from an old and outdated unit to a state of the art department, thanks to the generous support of CHW.

You can’t compare the old facility with the new Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene PICU. The children that arrive can now be treated in separate rooms with dignity, alongside the best medical equipment and care. The feeling you get when you enter the department is incredible. We are all very proud of it. The working environment feels top quality and I believe the quality of care has gone up as well. 

The new facility also caters to our needs as a team. We now have a proper space for morning meetings with screens so we can continue to monitor our patients. I feel like many of our worries are gone and we can now focus on what is most important- our patients. When you have a professional and even a beautiful environment, it pushes you to do your best.

Of course, everything has changes since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic! The entire hospital has been preparing for and implementing a massive scale up. All our protocols have changed and our experienced staff are working together with other departments to help fight the virus.

It has been especially difficult to treat children during this period, as they don’t have typical symptoms. In fact, most are asymptomatic. We have to treat all children with a fever as ‘suspected’ Coronavirus cases until we can test and confirm otherwise. We set up a special Pediatric COVID-19 Ward but thankfully the children we have treated have not been critically ill. 

The Pediatrics Department is a very special place. I feel very supported by my colleagues- they’re like family. The majority of us are women- a lot of powerful women! Our main challenge is to ensure we’re not all on maternity leave at the same time!

I feel very lucky to be in Israel right now. I think Israel is taking all the necessary precautions to ‘flatten the curve’. It feels much safer here than in America. I’m very worried about my parents and grandparents in New York- the epicenter of the pandemic. 

Like many frontline workers, I’m juggling a lot right now. My priority is to stay safe and keep my family safe. My husband is incredibly supportive and busy caring for our daughter who is at home during the lock-down. We also have a strong community of friends around us. 

We’re so thankful.”

Bake the World a Better Place!

Despite the full lock down in Israel, CHW Netanya Technological High School is in full swing, running sessions for students through distance learning over ZOOM.

Eyal Levy, Head of the Patisserie Program, shares his secret Passover Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies with CHW.

“Baking brings people together. During challenging times like these, it’s important to keep busy and stay positive. I hope our CHW friends across Canada will find as much comfort and joy in baking as we do here!”

CHW Netanya Technological High School

 Kosher for Passover Recipe: 

Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
  2 Eggs
  1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  ½ cup White Sugar
  ½ cup Brown Sugar
     
Chocolate Ganache
  1 cup (6.2 oz) Bittersweet Chocolate
  100 grams Margarine or Butter
     
Dry Ingredients
  ½ cup Matzo Cake Meal
  2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
  1 teaspoon Baking Powder
    Pinch of Salt
  2/3 cup Pecans (coarsely chopped)
  1 cup Chocolate Chips
  ½ cup White Chocolate (coarsely chopped)

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 170 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together eggs, vanilla extract, white sugar and brown sugar until mixture is thick and consistent
  3. Melt chocolate and butter/margarine over a double boiler. Stir occasionally until ganache is smooth
  4. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa)
  5. In a separate bowl, mix chocolate chips, pecans and white chocolate
  6. Add ganache into the egg mixture and slowly add the dry ingredients in 2 batches
  7. Add the chocolate chips, pecan and white chocolate until batter is consistent
  8. Cool batter
  9. Scoop 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of batter and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave space between each cookie.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes until surface looks dry/cracked
  11. Let the cookies cool off completely before removing from baking sheet

Enjoy!

The Art of Healing

Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) – Mount Scopus campus. After a tiring shift, Dr. Momen Abbasi, 29, is working on his latest creation. It’s a cartoon of Little Red Riding Hood staying home, rather than risking infection or infecting her grandma with coronavirus.

“I use my drawings to spruce up what are often dull medical PowerPoint presentations,” says Abbasi from his home in the Beit Tzafafa, a neighborhood in Jerusalem. “They are also useful when showing children and adults parts of their body before a procedure so they know precisely what’s going to happen.”

From an early age, Abbasi was undecided between his passion for art and desire to become a doctor. At Hadassah Hospital, he’s found a home for both his skills.

Abbasi grew up in Silwan, a hillside Arab neighborhood near Jerusalem’s Old City. His father is the managing director of Al-Quds newspaper and his mother – a chemistry teacher. Abbasi loved playing video games and was fascinated by the animations, as he moved his avatars around colorful digital worlds.

“I never studied animation, but started drawing in sixths grade. Using programs like Photoshop and Flash, I gradually learned how to build characters,” he says.

All three of his older siblings went into medicine or dentistry. Abbasi studied medicine in Jordan, and returned in 2015 to work at HMO, where he is an intern with a focus in nephrology.

“My first corona-related drawing was a hat-tip to the medical teams in Hubei, China – a medical knight, fighting the epidemic.”

As the virus came closer to home, so did Abassi’s drawings – trying to advise the public on best practices.

Once we are over the corona crisis, Abbasi hopes to further develop his artistic work to help HMO.

“I love this hospital. Mount Scopus is like one big family. What I’m considering doing with my artwork down the road is to use it with Hadassah medical students – for example by creating flashcards to make nephrology study a little less dry. I also want to deepen the use of drawings with patients. You can see it helps put them at ease.”

Safety First in a Brave New World!

When 35-year-old Sarah* went into labour, she knew that her delivery would be different from what her family and friends described. Having been quarantined at home for a week, Sarah was brought to the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Ein Kerem, when she went into labour.

Thanks to the communication between the Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance team and the HMO medical team, a special isolated and fully equipped room was prepared away from regular delivery rooms in anticipation of Sarah’s arrival.

Sarah recalls feeling scared for her life and the life of her baby, as she tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at the hospital. With the help of two midwives, fully geared-up in protective suits, she successfully gave birth to her beautiful baby boy.

Due to her diagnosis, Sarah was separated from her newborn son and was taken to an isolation unit, where she will remain until she recovers from COVID-19. The support, dedication, and care of her midwife who stayed by her side until the transfer, truly touched Sara.

At this time, Sarah is fighting to become healthy, and is counting the days until she can reunite with her child. While the separation is difficult for both mother and child, Sarah knows that the supportive medical staff at HMO is doing everything they can to ensure her son is healthy and cared for. In the meantime, she receives frequent calls and photo messages from the maternity ward and is regularly updated on her son’s condition by the attending physician. “Thank you so much!” says Sarah in her messages, “You made me so happy and moved by what you are doing for me. I am worried about my baby from afar and feel helpless, but I am so grateful for your concern and devotion. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“This exciting and extraordinary event illustrates how vital communication between the MDA teams arriving from the field and the team at Hadassah is – which is commonplace, but important these days,” said Prof. Zev Rothstein, CEO of Hadassah Medical Organization.

*the name has been changed due to confidentiality.