Following provocative panel on end-of-life issues, Hadassah seeks to rebuild presence in area

by | Dec 6, 2019 | Other News

Vivian Margulies, Harriet Dickman, Janis Foleck, Charlie Sprung, Lynn Seltzer, Nancy Schreier, and Eileen Rosenblum.

For its first event in Tidewater in recent years, national and regional leadership of Hadassah could only guess what the turnout would be for a program on ethical issues surrounding end-of- life. The event on Sunday, November 3 at the Simon Family JCC did not disappoint, with nearly 90 people attending.

The panel featured international and local experts including dr. Charles Sprung, world-renowned ethicist and director emeritus of the Medical intensive Care department at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Lila Kagedan, who teaches bio- ethics and is a chaplain in hospitals and hospices in Boston. Rabbi Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Also, on stage were Tom Elder, director of Freda Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care; Scott Alperin, an elder law attorney; and Joel Rubin, the afternoon’s moderator.

“It was compelling to learn the benefits of purposeful communication with loved ones concerning end-of-life care,” says Sharon Goretsky, organizational vice president of Hadassah Southern Seaboard, a previous and soon-to-be-returning Tidewater resident who helped spearhead the event.

Scott Alperin, Rabbi Lila Kagedin, Charlie Sprung, and Tom Elder.

“Our primary goal was to offer the Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads community a glimpse of the current work of Hadassah and the exciting programming available,” says Goretsky.

As Hadassah determines its future presence in the area, it has set up a Facebook page at Hadassah-Norfolk/ Virginia-Beach and is encouraging suggestions of other programs and initiatives. Email

To learn more about Hadassah’s work in Israel, the United States and around the world, visit or