CHW Weekly Stories

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)

President’s Award of Excellence

Annually, the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, honours soldiers and officers with the highly esteemed President’s Award of Excellence that awards soldiers for their devotion to duty and professionalism.  

President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, at the Awards Ceremony

120 recipients were recognized; among them were three graduates from the dormitories of CHW Hadsssim Children and Youth Village: Paulina Rodkovsky, Dan Golan, and David Svilder.

Paulina Rodkovsky

Paulina grew up in the dormitories at CHW Hadassim. While Paulina was born without her right arm, she always sought to have a typical life like her peers. At CHW Hadassim, she was always encouraged to pursue her dreams and overcome any challenges that would come her way. Paulina fought to join a prestigious unit in the IDF and wanted to serve the same service as her fellow citizens in spite of her physical disabilities. Today, Paulina serves in an elite unit and has received the highest honour from President Rivlin.

Dan Golan

Dan received this award for the second consecutive year. Dan’s mother passed away when he was a little boy and he spent the early years of his childhood living in Be’er Sheva with his father, sister, and grandmother. His home environment was very difficult and so when Dan was eight years old, he arrived to CHW Hadassim. He first lived in the Family Unit and then in the dormitories. Dan shares, “CHW Hadassim made me the person I am today. I am a leader, I possess initiative, I am responsible, and this is all thanks to CHW Hadassim.” Today, Dan is part of the Israeli Northern Command. Dan shared, “Receiving the award was an honour and emotional; it was seeing all my hard work come to life.”

David Svilder

David is a Captain in the Golani Brigade. David arrived to CHW Hadassim without parents and in need of a loving home. Here, at CHW Hadassim he grew into a happy and confident young man. David knew he wanted to give back to his country and fought to join the Golani Brigade.  

This is an exceptional achievement for each of these soldiers, CHW Hadassim, and Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW). Through your support, you nurtured these children at CHW Hadassim and helped to create the next generation of leaders who will contribute positively to the State of Israel. 

The Students of CHW Hadassim and CHW Nahalal Have Graduated!

Mazel Tov to our remarkable children from both CHW Hadassim Children and Youth Village and CHW Nahalal Youth Village who recently graduated!

This past week, both youth villages hosted graduation ceremonies for the grade 12 students.

Ze’ev Twito, Director of CHW Hadassim

Dr. Carmela Dekel, Chairperson of the Education Division, World WIZO.

At CHW Hadassim, 366 students graduated. As a result of your generous support, 63 students from the dormitories graduated.

Amongst the graduates, two arrived to CHW Hadassim when they were as young as seven years old, and CHW Hadassim is truly their home. David* and Mia* shared that their childhood and adolescence was spent at CHW Hadassim. Mia shared that “This is the most meaningful time of my life; I was always loved and cared for.”

Na’aleh Graduates!

This was an extra special ceremony, as it was the first group of graduates from our beloved Na’aleh Program. Gad is one of the graduates.

Gad, a Na’aleh student


Gad arrived to CHW Hadassim three years ago when he was 15 years old. Gad recalls that during his first year, he was such an angry boy and very closed off. He had experienced anti-Semitism in France and never fit in at school. However, as Gad shares, “CHW Hadassim changed my life.” He turned from a negative child into a positive young man with hopes and dreams. Gads’ grades improved greatly from the time he arrived to CHW Hadassim; finding a passion for math and learning Hebrew. Gad has decided that Israel is his home and will spend next year volunteering before he enlists in the IDF to serve his country. Gad expressed, “The people at CHW Hadassim, my peers and the staff were such a wonderful influence on me and helped to make me who I am today. Thank you.”

Professor Rivka Lazovsky, with CHW Nahalal graduates!

Professor Rivka Lazovsky, with CHW Nahalal graduates!

At CHW Nahalal, Professor Rivka Lazovsky attended the ceremony that honoured 252 graduating students. This was a special ceremony as it also paid tribute David Horesh, Director of the youth village, who is retiring after over 20 years of dedication to CHW Nahalal.

David Horesh, Director of CHW Nahalal with Professor Rivka Lazovsky

Igal Dekel, CEO, World WIZO with David Horesh and Professor Rivak Lazovsky, as they award David for his dedication to CHW Nahalal.

*Names changed for confidentiality

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Female Empowerment through the Nahalal-Anieres Program

Through the Nahalal-Anieres Program, barriers for young girls are being broken down. This unique program, which offers an education in engineering, has a 30% female student body, and is increasing annually.

Ira Lotman, manager of the Anieres Elite Academy shared, “Anieres gives girls from around the world the encouragement they need to pursue a career in engineering. They see for themselves that with hard work, the sky is the limit.”

This remarkable program provides children from both Israel and around the world with an accelerated education, a chance to learn at the prestigious Technion University in Haifa, and gives access to opportunities they would otherwise not receive.

Darya is one student from CHW Nahalal whose life was changed thanks to the Nahalal-Anieres Program. Darya came from a small town in Russia. She was raised by her grandmother as her parents were unable to take care of her. When Darya began school, it was immediately recognized that she was extremely gifted. Darya had a natural affinity to mathematics. However, she always wanted more; she felt that if she stayed in Russia, she would lack the opportunity to fulfill her educational and professional dreams.

When Darya was 14 years old, her family learned about the specialized Nahalal-Anieres Program and decided that this sounded like a wonderful opportunity for her.

Darya left home and moved to CHW Nahalal. She has been studying mathematics and learning Hebrew as well. Darya was doing so well that she decided to enroll in the National Mathematics Olympiad and won third place! Following her success, Darya participated in the International Mathematics Olympiad where she placed second! Darya’s story is one of success and opportunity.

Supporting children in need while advancing women in society has been a pillar of CHW since our inception, 100 years ago.


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The Diversity of Women

A Romanian photographer has traveled to 50 countries around the world, to capture portraits of women; her project is called “The Atlas of Beauty.”

Through capturing women and hearing their stories, photographer Mihaela Noroc is emphasizing and celebrating diversity. This project broke down barriers and highlighted the importance of women being their authentic selves.

For 100 years, CHW has emphasized the importance of empowering young girls and women to celebrate diversity. CHW has advocated for women’s rights and to overcome discrimination and prejudices.

One way that CHW aims to combat these issues is through the Empowerment Program for Girls at-Risk at CHW Hadassim Children and Youth Village. This is powerful program reaches out to girls from the dormitories and family units who come from challenging backgrounds. These girls have not been given the support or the tools to overcome various challenges whether psychological, emotional, or physical. For this reason, this program is critical at for these girls. Via the Empowerment Program, teenage girls are taught to a sense of self-worth and confidence. These values and skills equip these young and impressionable girls with the abilities to tackle challenges that may come their way.

Helping Families in Need

*Noam is a happy little boy with a positive disposition, and always manages to put a smile on people’s faces. Since he was six months old, Noam has attended the same CHW daycare. When Noam was two years old, he sprang into daycare one morning and announced that he was going to be a big brother!

Sadly, months later, Noam’s mother gave birth to a stillborn. One year later, Noam’s mother gave birth to a baby girl with Down Syndrome. The little girl’s condition was very severe and required her to attend a specialized daycare that could best care for her needs.

Noam took this very hard. At his young age, he could not comprehend why his baby sister could not come to daycare with him. Noam struggled to understand why his sister was different. Noam shared that he wanted her with him so that he could ‘watch over her’ as her proud big brother.

The manager of the daycare saw a major change in Noam and was concerned for his well being. Noam had retreated from his friends, he became antisocial, he no longer smiled and played, and there were noticeable changes in his development.

As the daycare offers specialized home services, the manager approached Noam’s parents in order to provide them with the right tools to help their son. Noam’s parents agreed that they were struggling coping with their new situation. The daycare brought in a psychologist and social worker to help Noam during the day and also to counsel his parents in order to have the right skills to assist Noam while at home.

After a few weeks, Noam’s parents, the manager, and the caregivers began to see positive changes in Noam as he was slowly returning to his old ways. Noam slowly began to reengage with his friends and regain his cheerfulness.

At the age of three, Noam left the daycare to enter kindergarten. Noam left as a happy and well-adjusted little boy. One year later, Noam’s mother returned to the daycare as she had given birth to her third child, a healthy baby girl and wanted to enroll her in the same daycare Noam had attended as she knew she would receive the best level of care.

Noam’s mother shares that she and her family will never forget the special care and attention they received from the daycare during their challenging time. To them, the daycare is an extension of their own family.

*Name changed for confidentially