As a result of a post on this site Sunday, and later picked up as a front page story in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post, the Hadassah Israel PR team has swung into action. Upset by what they considered inaccurate information, they have launched a belated defensive action to spin their side of this particular story.
In a post titled WUJS Arad Bites the Dust, I wrote:
“At a meeting this past Sunday night, the Hadassah WUJS Arad Company voted to permanently close the program in Arad later this summer.
Young Judaea is currently in the process of re-engineering the program to open this September in Jerusalem.”
Neither Hadassah or Young Judaea have disputed these sentences. In fact, they were provided to me the morning following the board meeting by a senior YJ professional, here in Jerusalem, who fully knew they were on the record and for publication.
Even Hadassah’s own press release and WUJS Arad’s letter to the upcoming September participants confirm this.
I then spoke in some detail of the history of the program and the personal sadness of the program’s Arad closing. The thoughts expressed were picked up and amplified by close to 100 alumni who either posted comments, or wrote off-line, about the passing of an era. So true.
And the thousands of page views since Sunday on this specific post indicates the interest in our community on the WUJS Arad program, past, present and future.
The simple fact is, no matter how Hadassah chooses to spin this, WUJS in Arad is not, and can not possibly be, the same as a WUJS Arad program in Jerusalem, or for that matter Tel Aviv. One only needs to read the various comments posted to understand that.
WUJS Jerusalem may become a successful program in its own right, and I and most alumni wish them well, but Hadassah should not be under the illusion that the storied program they took over in 2006 is not now a memory.
The power of the WUJS Arad brand may live on; but not WUJS (in) Arad.
see also: JAFI Weighs in on WUJS Arad Doings