Thank you very much.

Madam President,

The Former Presidents of Hadassah,

My Dear Friends,

The Honorable Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, my dear friend, Dalia Itzik,

Distinguished Friends,

And Volunteers, Supporters and Members of Hadassah from the United States of America,


I am honored and excited, to have this opportunity to meet with you in this place which has been my second home for the almost 34 years, since I was first elected to the Knesset.  It was a different building, and it was a different Knesset, a different political atmosphere and also an entirely different healthcare system, in the State of Israel. 


We have come a long way since then, and Hadassah always was at the forefront of healthcare services, not only by local standards, but by world standards.  Hadassah is now an integral part of the pride of Jerusalem across the world.  Everywhere I go, everyone who comes to visit with us, from every corner of the world, knows about the history of Jerusalem, and knows the landmarks of our past.  They are embedded in the city of Jerusalem, but they also know that modern Jerusalem is proud to have one of the most advanced, sophisticated, efficient and compassionate healthcare centers in the whole world.  And this is due to the devotion, to the love of the Jewish people for the State of Israel and for the city of Jerusalem, of the ten of thousands of who are known – I am afraid to use this term – of “Hadassah girls”, across America and the world. 


There is something about Hadassah – and I apologize in advance, I’m not going to talk politics today – what characterizes Hadassah, is something that I believe also characterizes the entire Israeli society, which makes me very proud.


Hadassah is the leading place for people of all different walks of life and of all different backgrounds and of all different religions.   When you go to Hadassah, to the daycare centers, you find downstairs Jews – secular, religious, ultra-Orthodox – as well as non-Jews, as well as Palestinians who live outside of the State of Israel, who can now come to Hadassah and receive the best treatment there can be anyplace.  And this is not just a phenomenon restricted to the patients of Hadassah, this is Hadassah, these are the workers, the professionals, the physicians, the Heads of Departments, the managers.  It is a reflection of the duality and the richness of Israeli society. 


And that is why Hadassah is such a source of pride for each and every one of us.  I know that Hadassah is in the process of expanding and improving, not just its services, which is a lifetime commitment.  And since I am very friendly with general manager, my dear friend, Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, I know that his services demand an endless effort to improve all the time.  There is an endless effort to improve not just the quality of services, but the quality of research.  Hadassah is a major center of academic research, and this is a great school for the new generation of trained physicians, but he also is now renovating the buildings in order to bring the accommodations into modern times. 


And the State of Israel has always been a partner of Hadassah, and will forever remain a partner of Hadassah, because Hadassah is Israel and Hadassah is an essential component of the quality of life which we want to provide to everyone amongst us and to those outside who feel that that they need that help, the special care that only Hadassah can provide.


So I want to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the State of Israel and the people of Israel.  I think it is very wonderful that my dear friend and colleague the Speaker, Dalia Itzik, allows this ceremony and this meeting to take place here in this auditorium in the Knesset, which is a reflection of the admiration of the entire society of the State of Israel for Hadassah.  So, I thank you, I hope that you will continue your efforts.  I hope that you will continue to grant us this devotion and sacrifice which has been part of your personal, individual lives for a very long time to help Hadassah, and thus also to help the State of Israel.


Thank you very much.