Peg Elefant
Hadassah National Vice President

Hadassah Gardens for Healing Humanity

Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem Healing Garden. Artwork courtesy of the author.

What is special about Hadassah? Patients, doctors, caregivers, researchers, donors. And something else:  gardens! That Hadassah considers nature and its environs essential to healing is part of Hadassah’s extraordinary care for patients as well as for their caregivers and friends.

Painting the two lovely, yet very different Hadassah gardens, the indoor Healing Gardens at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and the outdoor Peace Rocks pediatric garden at Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, afforded me a different way of experiencing my visits to Mt. Scopus and Ein Kerem.

I first saw The Healing Gardens at Ein Kerem in 2015. I was part of a wonderful Hadassah tour; with the group I quickly passed through the seventh-floor indoor gardens. Now, in Jerusalem in November 2022 with the Hadassah 100th National Convention visit, I left the tour; I was compelled to paint in that quiet, reflective space. I saw a mom rocking her baby, a father strolling his infant around the ceiling high palmettos, and an old man staring through the floor to ceiling windows toward the village of Ein Kerem at the bottom of a ravine in the Judaean Hills. I felt their pain. Why were there? A loved one? A friend? I felt their momentary peace. The gardens offered a distraction from G-d knows what. Nature is calm. As I painted at Hadassah Ein Kerem, I painted the peace of the hills, the vitality of the greenery, the lushness of the indoor garden.

The outdoor Children’s Garden at Hadassah Mt. Scopus provides a welcome relief for children and their families. Resplendent with a playground, an amphitheater, a view of the Old City of Jerusalem toward the west, and vibrant vegetation, the garden invited me to stroll among nature, past trees, magenta bougainvillea, an amphitheater, and an intriguing tiny waterfall with colored rocks, painted by children as part of a peace project, scattered at its base.

I stopped. Nowhere to sit! What to do? I sat on the path. Dirt? Who cares! One can wash clothes easier than healing the pain of others. So, I sat. I sat and I painted. Water cascaded ever so gently over the limestone boulder. It washed over the children’s painted rocks, offering hope for their healing and their wishes for peace.

Have you ever been to Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, to the children’s magical garden? Have you ever sat for a while at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem’s gardens? Please do both; you will be blessed. You will feel the nurturing power of nature. You will feel pride in the extraordinary work that we, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, support.

Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus Healing Garden. Artwork courtesy of the author.

Visit my art and read my story: .

You can support the amazing work of the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO)! How to select a painting and support Hadassah:

To watch highlights from Hadassah’s 100th National Convention, please visit this link.

About the Author
Hadassah National Vice President Peg Elefant has demonstrated exemplary leadership over her 40-plus years at Hadassah, including service as a: Creative Consultant, Curriculum Developer and Chair for Building Hadassah Community; National Leadership Vice-Chair; President, Pacific Northwest Region; and National Online Training Chair. Peg has been intricately involved in Hadassah leadership, creating and delivering trainings for region presidents, multi-region conferences and individual regions. Having served on the Constitution and Governance Committee, Peg has a deep understanding of Hadassah’s constitution and bylaws and how they support the operations of the organization. As an artist, Peg paints both in Israel and at home in Oregon. She believes that art is a way of communicating a sense of place and has shared her knowledge and artwork with multiple regions. Originally from Northern California, Peg has lived in Corvallis, Oregon for over 40 years, where she first encountered and developed a passion for Hadassah.
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