Annual Hadassah fundraiser brings book lovers to Newport


NEWPORT – On a beautiful, sunny day in August,  more than 200 women gathered for Hadassah Rhode Island’s eighth annual fundraising authors’ luncheon: Books on the Beach. The event took place at OceanCliff.

Authors Rachel Kadish and Tova Mirvis kept the audience mesmerized with their presentations

Kadish’s latest book, “The Weight of Ink,” is a wonderfully complex historical novel that moves from the 17th century where the events of the story take place to the 21st century where two historians delve into their own complexities and rivalries.  The intriguing catalyst that brought Kadish to this story was Virginia Woolf’s musing in “A Room of Her Own”: if Shakespeare had a sister as talented as he, she would probably have died unknown and unpublished. The idea of how difficult it was for creative and talented women to get educated, much less be able to express their talent, percolated for many years as Kadish did extensive research for this novel. The story tells of a young Jewish woman who – because of world circumstances – was educated and finds herself in London in the 1660s scribing for a blind Portuguese rabbi. Her curiosity and search for knowledge drives this electrifying story.

Mirvis, after 30 years living an Orthodox life and doing every thing a “good girl” was suppose to do, found she had to be true to her authentic self.  Her memoir, “A Book of Separation,” follows this journey through agonizing realizations. Knowing that her choice to leave orthodoxy meant a separation from more than religion, she brings readers along on her very personal journey. She explores the concept of leaving, separating and changing through relationships with her husband, her children, her parents, her siblings and her community. Having relinquished her previously well-mapped life, she discovers her inner compass for this often frightening world of new possibilities.

The gathering also heard from Marlene Post, past national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, who thanked them for the important work the Rhode Island chapter does in raising money for the lifesaving work Hadassah doctors do at its two hospitals in Jerusalem. The hospitals serve all the residents of Jerusalem as well as do groundbreaking research  at the Ein Kerem hospital. 

Post shared stories of patients whose lives were saved and went on to live full and productive lives as a result of Hadassah’s commitment to patient care and healing. She emphasized the critical nature of the ongoing fundraising efforts.

As the program came to an end the authors happily signed copies of their books for appreciative guests.

Submitted by Hadassah Rhode Island