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Monday, July 22, 2019

Standing, (l-r): Sue Dobkin, Roselyn Bell and Elise Gonzales. Seated, (l-r): Eetta Prince-Gibson, Debra Lancaster, Meryl Frank and Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. (Credit: Harry Glazer)

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has a 106-year history of strong leadership and activism in support of cutting-edge research and medical care at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. Much of Hadassah’s educational, advocacy and youth programming activities on the grass roots level is run by volunteer-led local chapters.

In the Raritan Valley Chapter of Hadassah, three energetic women—all members of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park—are looking to broaden Hadassah’s connections while also continuing its work to help Jews of all denominations connect to Israel, Zionism and the pioneering medical work of the Hadassah Medical Organization. These local women, Sue Dobkin, Elise Gonzalez and Roselyn Bell, make up the programming committee for the Raritan Valley Chapter of Hadassah. The committee has been designing engaging programs and expanding the chapter’s connections in the community.

The Raritan Valley Chapter recently hosted its first panel discussion on local women in leadership. This event featured former US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Meryl Frank; Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler; Debra Lancaster, executive director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University; and Eetta Prince-Gibson, award-winning journalist and former editor of the “Jerusalem Report.”

The event attracted over two dozen attendees from the local community. Each woman leader shared her story, explained how her career progressed and discussed the challenges she faced and how she successfully navigated those obstacles.

“Each speaker created positive, lasting change, using their powers of influence to pass legislation, change the quality of life in Highland Park and beyond and create a brighter future,” said Dobkin. “We know that the Jewish world is small but hearing the similarities between the lives of these four panelists was amazing.”

Middlesex County community members are welcome to join the Raritan Valley Chapter of Hadassah for future events. For information on upcoming programs, contact [email protected].