Hadassah’s Connection to Jewish Art and Saving the TaTas

By Aileen Greenberg-Kriner

Hadassah has not only been a strong supporter of healthcare and women’s empowerment but has also played a significant role in promoting Jewish art and culture. Among its many contributions, the magnificent Marc Chagall windows adorning the Abbell synagogue at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem stand as a testament to Hadassah’s commitment to preserving Jewish heritage and the arts. Hadassah’s Painting Days, part of our Celebrate the TaTas fundraiser, also serve as a vibrant platform that celebrates Jewish art while honoring breast cancer survivors and raising funds for cancer research.

 Marc Chagall, was a prominent Jewish artist known for his whimsical, dreamlike interpretations, created with his signature style. He created works in a wide range of artistic formats, including paintings, stained glass, stage sets, and ceramics.
Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, to a Hasidic Jewish family in a shtetl in Russia. In his autobiography, My Life, Chagall describes the major influence that his family background and Jewish folklore had on his life as an artist. Many of Chagall’s works also were inspired by themes from the Bible.

 Miriam Freund, then national president of Hadassah, and other Hadassah representatives met with Chagall in Paris in the late 1950s. The women were well-prepared to request one or two stained glass windows for the synagogue at the hospital. Legend says that Chagall asked, “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting my whole life to serve the Jewish people.” He offered to create an entire series of windows if he had free rein on their style, subject, and placement.

In 1960, Chagall began creating twelve stained glass windows for the synagogue and devoted the next two years to the task. Dedicated on February 6, 1962, as part of Hadassah’s Golden Anniversary celebration, the windows have now been in place for 61 years. The 8foot by 11 foot-arched windows depict the twelve sons of Jacob, leaders of the twelve Tribes of Israel. The intense colors and symbolic imagery of each panel reflects Chagall’s deep connection to Jewish life, tradition, and spirituality.
Hadassah’s connection to the Marc Chagall windows at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, and the Celebrate the TaTas Painting Days, serve as inspiring testaments to Hadassah’s commitment to preserving Jewish heritage, fostering creativity, and honoring and empowering women.

 Painting Days, Monday, Aug. 28, 9am-5pm and Tuesday, Aug. 29, noon-9 p.m. at Temple Beth El, are the heart and soul of Celebrate the TaTas. Painting Days bring together artists, breast cancer survivors, and supporters to create stunning works of art. Women ages 21-121 are invited to have their TaTas painted by female artists. The artists paint original designs on human canvasses. Models will then be photographed by female photographers. The artists and photographers disguise breasts and protect identities of women painted.

 Painting days support the fight against breast cancer and highlight the transformative power of art in empowering individuals, spreading awareness, and fostering a sense of community. If you would like to be a model, artist, photographer, or volunteer, contact Cindy at [email protected] or (980) 553-1880.

 The TaTas pictures will be unveiled as a photo collage at The Reveal — a luncheon at Maggiano’s on October 26, which includes a live auction and wine pull. Sign up on our website.

Get Ready for Rosh Hashanah
Order a sweet New Year’s gift of honey for friends and family. Each 8-ounce jar of kosher honey is $14. Order online by August 1 for free shipping. The last day to order is Aug. 25 for delivery by Rosh Hashanah (+$7 shipping fee).
Send beautiful Hadassah Rosh Hashanah cards to your loved ones. There is a variety of holiday art and messages. $3 each. Contact Laurie at the email or phone number above.

Hadassah Happenings
Join us for our monthly Hadassah Wine & Schmooze at 7 p.m. on Aug. 1 at Vintner Wine Market in Arboretum.
Beverly’s Book Nook will meet via Zoom on Friday, Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss David Baddiel’s book, “Jews Don’t Count.”
Hadassah BookTalk is reading Kantika by Elizabeth Graver. Our meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Short Story Discussion Group meets at 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 11. We will discuss the story In Every Girl’s Heart by Myla Goldberg, in the book “Frankly Feminist: Short Stories by Jewish Women,” edited by Susan Weidman-Schneider and Yona Zeldis McDonough. Call or email to see if the meeting is in person or Zoom.

The next Hadassah Charlotte Metro Board meeting is Monday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
For information about Hadassah Charlotte Metro, membership, or our events, check our website, www.hadassahcltevents.org, email [email protected] or call (980) 553-1880.
Follow us on Facebook (Hadassah CLT Metro) and Instagram (Hadassah Charlotte Metro).

Photo Caption: One of Marc Chagall’s stained glass windows donated to Hadassah for the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem

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