Eighth and Final Day

Even though we've been on the go constantly since last Sunday night, we don't want this to end. For some of us it will not end. Some are staying to tour on their own, others have to get back to the real world.
We woke up early for one last time and departed for Hadassah Hospital. Many of the women are past presidents, some on the board, and others are members. And guess who will be the newest member when we got home? Give up? ME! Anyway if you thought you knew anything about hospitals, forget it. They know how to do things here better than anyone. In fact major hospital administrators come to Hadassah Hospital to get ideas. We toured the children's cancer ward, which is totally heartbreaking. But they have an 87% cure rate here, so that's encouraging. They'll treat anybody, regardless of religion or headgear. A quick look around the trauma center assured us that they are ready for any emergency. The highlight of this hospital tour is the Chagall windows, 12 in all, each one depicting a tribe of Israel - or each one of Jacob's sons. One more beautiful than the next and all created by Chagall with the help of techniques he and some others invented. We had a few minutes to leave some schekels in the gift shop, then off to the next stop.
We visited the offices of the Joint Distribution Committee(JDC) to learn about social welfare and how the JDC responds to needs. Half of the money your Federation raises goes overseas and since the JDC knows who needs what, they are in charge of distributing their share. We enjoyed a box lunch around a round table and took some time to speak about what Federation does.
Keeping up with the idea of cramming as much into one day as possible, we then visited the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv. This is a fairly new museum which provides a sense of the period leading up to the founding of the state of Israel. The main exhibit takes place in a series of underground chambers using remarkably realistic sets, sounds, lighting, special effects and even moving rooms. I have a much clearer idea of the years 1940-1948 as seen through real characters eyes and the spoken word.
We left the museum and checked into the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv where we had the use of rooms until it was time to leave for the airport. Here, at our farewell dinner Rabbi Kligfeld passed around a paragraph we all wrote weeks before about what we wanted to get out of this trip. It was great to see what we wrote and compared it to what we felt. We said goodbye to several people and sadly boarded Asher's bus one last time. Aryeh came with the group, as did Rich and I, even though we were going back to Jerusalem for the UJC General Assembly. Hugs and kisses galore, promises to keep in touch, share pictures and a final farewell.
Aryeh got us a cab who's driver went 140KPH, which is close to 90MPH and 20 minutes later we were back in Jerusalem. One last goodbye to Aryeh, another new hotel for Rich and I and 3 more days at the GA. More postings and pictures to follow, perhaps from home - I'm tired!


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