It is the International Women’s Day on March 8th. This is wonderful timing, right on Purim Day, the holiday that marks the influence of a woman on our people. Through one unique strong woman’s commitment to the Jewish People and sheer initiative, courage and cunning, a nation was saved.
This event coincides with our celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the Jewish Women’s Association of Hong Kong.
No other Jewish organization in Hong Kong is more representative of the long term commitment and the influence of women in the community, for the Jewish People and for people in need, wherever they are.
The Jewish Women’s Association was established in 1947 by a group of highly committed women. In those days an influx of refugees from Europe flowed into Hong Kong from China after the Chinese revolution started, and after many had escaped from Nazi Europe.
These thousands of people needed shelter, food, health service, education, milk for babies, and assistance in finding new homes for them in other countries. The Jewish women assisted in every way they could, from finding lodging, to providing baby milk and clothing; – from helping with visas, to purchasing equipment like a sewing machine for a seamstress looking for work.
The Jewish women were there to help, as they always are in a crisis.
According to Jewish tradition, women and charity go hand in hand. Being aware of the needs around us, and being pro-active in helping, is the legacy we all follow. Many of us grew up seeing our mothers and grandmothers doing the same.
Over the past 65 years the Jewish Women’s Association of Hong Kong has helped thousands of people in need in Hong Kong and in Israel.
Did you know that the JWA sponsored a women’s ward in the local prison, so that women inmates would not have to be detained with men? The JWA has also provided care to lepers in a local colony, and been involved in assisting women’s drug rehabilitation – and this is just in Hong Kong.
The first JWA bazaar was in 1967 with the urgent call to assist Israel after the Six Day War.
Israel was growing rapidly with many newcomers who needed housing and community services quickly. Since then the JWA has been committed to assist Israel, mainly by supporting women and children in need and helping them to enjoy a better future.
The tradition of the JWA Ball started even earlier- celebrating the Independence Day of Israel and other events within the community.
You have probably received a letter from us, launching our fund raising campaign.
Please consider your contribution by participating and donating to the JWA and the causes this money supports. Please help us to continue our tradition of giving and making a difference in people’s lives.
The JWA Ball will be on May 13th and is guaranteed to be a night to remember. Please mark your calendar and make sure you book your seat.
Have a wonderful Purim and we looking forward to celebrating with you.