Ronnie Katz Gerber
Communications Chair, Hadassah Los Angeles Metro Region

‘Tis the Season for Hadassah Los Angeles Metro Area

Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem; courtesy: Hadassah

The New Year has just started, and my Hadassah sisters really know how to usher out the old and welcome in the new. I was invited to three events for three different but connected Hadassah groups in Southern California. Let us go in order of our wonderful celebrations.

The first event was rained out. Easy to report. But it broke our hearts. That was to be Los Angeles Metro Area of Hadassah Southern California’s L’Dor V’Dor group’s new board installation event to welcome them to a new term in 2022. Additionally, fond farewells were to be given to those whose service had changed. You know the song “It Never Rains in California?” Well, we counted on that and planned a beautiful outdoor event in a lovely backyard overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. Our gracious host has a lovely garden. We missed it. The RSVP’s cascaded in quickly. Everyone is starved for live in-person get-togethers now that we are double, and triple vaccinated and have stared at our own four walls for far too long. You could hear the groans through the telephones when we canceled with no new date scheduled.

Rest assured, L’Dor V’Dor will reschedule quickly while referencing the Farmers’ Almanac. Margie Lunt is to continue as co-president with Vivian Kalev as her partner. Sheila Millman is to switch positions with Margie Richards. She is interested in Israeli affairs. She will work more efficiently at home rather than keeping up with the regular treasurer duties and obligations. Sheila willingly stepped in to help with our treasury, and Leslie Back is keeping her chair as events coordinator. Our members at large wear many hats and support our activities. We’re so glad they signed on again. Thank you. I will retain my position as membership chair, but I was so looking forward to enjoying the new inductees made official.

Also, we were pleased to be cited by Hazel Gordon, our LA Metro Area director, for raising enough money for a hospital bed and unique visitor’s chair in a recovery room at Hadassah Hospital. We committed to raising furnishing funds for a defibrillator as well. Good money well spent. I’m proud to be a participant.

And the food. I always look forward to the food. Thank goodness two days later was an indoor event in the sunshine celebrating the induction of our LA Metro Area board members. Out to the San Fernando Valley we trekked to a home among the mountains with views clear to G-d with all the windows in the world to see them.

The Hadassah Los Angeles Metro Area, which comprises 26 groups and 8,000 members, includes much of the Inland Empire, West Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and South Bay, and is much larger than our L’Dor V’Dor area. There were more than thirty of us including an advocacy voice, new Hadassah members, as well as honorees who were presented commendations. I was one of them. And I was surprised and humbled. I received a leadership commendation for my writing to publicize our Hadassah good works and progress. I am unabashedly trying to put the L’Dor V’Dor group and LA Metro Area Region in general, on the Hadassah map and stage. We are “Hadassah, the Women Who Do” and I am proud to be included.

That afternoon, we also presented Mitra Irani and Maureen Bernstein with keepsake gifts to recognize their five years as co-presidents. Margie Lunt was installed as new co-president sharing the post with Dina Lane. We swore in the entire LA Metro Region board. I kept my job as publicity and education chair. Joan Grossman was honored for her work. She stepped up to the plate and became the emergency ad-hoc co-president of Kinneret chapter until a new president is elected. Everyone was so happy to be out and see each other that we had to be corralled when called to the meeting. Again, the food was outstanding and very beautifully displayed as well. So much bounty.

We are always very aware that we gather to honor the job, the women, and the moment, and of course, to recognize the funds we raise for Israel in general, as well as for the iconic Round Building in Jerusalem where Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem is undergoing major renovations and updating. The Hadassah Medical Organization is known for its innovative medicine and non-political service. A blessing for all in the Middle East and world.

And now for something entirely different. Adira, the South Bay’s younger women’s Hadassah group formed just a few years ago, had a year-end party. Outgoing President Rani Gealer was acknowledged. Having not yet held elections for 2022, there was no incoming board to celebrate. National Board Member Debbie Kessler was there as their advisor to jump start elections for 2022. All this was held in a spacious Manhattan Beach home that was ready for any celebration: large, beautiful, open, and welcoming. Liz Glozman played host to their events committee’s beautiful drinks table and tiny latkes. A feast in miniature. Everything was delicious.

The evening gathered thirty-seven women and the talent was spellbinding. Literally. Entertainment was provided by clairvoyant Jennifer M. Shaffer, an FBI “spirits seeker.” In the past, she has helped find criminals and deceased human beings. It was certainly an exciting moment, as she described her work and then volunteered to attempt to seek the spirits of some of our Hadassah sisters and their deceased relatives for hellos from afar. Loved the drinks.

Good luck and Mazel Tov to our new board members and a heartfelt “thank you” to those who have stepped aside. Let’s continue to be strong and productive. The best in the New Year to you and your loved ones!

About the Author
Ronnie Katz Gerber is currently Communications Chair for the Hadassah Metro Los Angeles Region and a member of the Hadassah Writers' Circle. A retired English and drama teacher for one of the largest school districts in California, she has written, directed and produced a handful of curriculum-based plays for her students and received a Los Angeles Awards nomination for her educational outreach through the arts. She has now turned her attention to columns, articles and short stories. Ms. Gerber is active in the community doing volunteer work and also spends her time pursuing her avid interest in travel. She has visited most of Europe, Russia and Africa, China and a bit of South America as well. Most springs, she hosts foreign exchange students for a month while they take an American culture and language crash course at a local university. As a result, she has spent time with them and their families abroad. Her family, especially her grand girls are the best activity of any day.
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