Philanthropic Organizations: Dollars without borders
Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, Victoria Chapter
The charitable organization that many refer to simply as Hadassah, is made up of two independent organizations: Hadassah and WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization). Canada is the only country in the world where the two separate groups come together to form one powerhouse organization: Canada Hadassah-WIZO (CHW).
Hadassah is an international volunteer organization that funds medical initiatives. WIZO works to build social support and infrastructure in Israel. Together Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, founded in 1917, supports initiatives for children, healthcare, and women in Israel. Combined, these two organizations are “an anomaly” driven by the Jewish values of “tikkun olam” repairing the world and “zedakah” (meaning “righteousness”: charity or philanthropy.
CHW initiatives are organized and supported almost entirely by volunteers. CHW provides the opportunity for Jewish women from around the world to connect with one another in a meaningful way and gives Jewish Canadian women a channel through which they can focus their humanitarian efforts to improve health and living conditions for people in Israel.
The amount of personal time and effort put forth by the women of CHW to improve the lives of strangers half way around the world is the embodiment of Jewish values and feelings of obligation to care for all Jews alike. In Victoria, CHW is supported by other faith-based groups and connects Jewish and non-Jewish women within the community. In Israel, local CHW chapters have founded and continue to support six daycare centers, four technical high schools and two hospitals.