Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs
Life Member, Hadassah Northern New Jersey

Hadassah’s Holiday Giftwrapping Tradition – The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Photo courtesy of Hadassah.
Photo courtesy of Hadassah.

How often do we encounter a truly saintly individual…not often, if ever. Recently it was my good fortune to encounter such a soul…and I remain so in awe of this individual!

The other day, I had a chance meeting with a woman I did not know…but, found out we both belonged to Hadassah Southern New Jersey. Her chapter remains active while my chapter dissolved. ☹

As I lamented that I regret not having a chapter to DO for, she asked if I would be willing to help with her chapters’ holiday giftwrapping. I asked “where” that would take place, to which she replied, the South Brunswick Mall. I had no idea where that was, but my wonderfully amenable husband chimed in, he’d take me there.

G-D bless GPs and my hubby’s great sense of direction, I arrived for my scheduled “time” to help wrap.

To my amazement, our wrapping area consisted of four long tables…placed to make a square. Every table had supplies…bows of all sizes and colors, ribbons, wrapping paper, bags, boxes, and of course, scissors, tape, and the all-important aprons with pockets for the collected cash!!

The supplies were so plentiful, arranged beautifully… Dollar Stores would be envious.

And then, I meet the saintly woman responsible for all displays and supplies. But then I learn that she spends five or more hours…each day to wrap…to earn money for Hadassah’s groundbreaking, innovative cancer research at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem.

When I initially arrived…she was there. After I put in my three hours, and left, she was still there.

She remained for many more hours to do all she could to help.

Many hours of being present…
Many days of being present…
Overseeing stock and arrangement…
Wrapping with creativity, flair and kindness…
Standing – much of the time…
If no one volunteers to help…she goes it all alone!
When I left, she was alone…

With a full heart, and a strong belief in helping others thru Hadassah…she plods along with a smile!!! I feel honored to have met her and to have worked beside her. We don’t meet a saint every day!!

Happy Holidays!

Hadassah stands for Jewish values and traditions. Hadassah also stands up for women’s empowerment and leadership, and therefore strongly supports the role of Jewish woman as keepers of the flame of Jewish values, traditions and beliefs. I am proud to be a leader and member of a national organization with such a noble purpose.

About the Author
Rabbi Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs is a Life Member of Hadassah and spent her youth in Brooklyn, volunteering for such organizations as Junior Hadassah, the Civil Air Patrol, BBYO, and Young Judea. As an adult, she became a member of Hadassah, BBW (B’nai Brith Women), Women's American ORT (Organization for Educational Resources and Technological Training) and The National Council of Jewish Women. She has a Masters in rehabilitation of the handicapped. She taught for 25 years and upon retirement became a hospice chaplain. She and Steve, her husband of 53 years have two children, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren!
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