GROTON -- Five women from Groton attended the Hadassah Northeast Leadership Retreat on Nov. 15-17 at the Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox.

Carole Greenfield, president of the Northern New England Region of Hadassah, was thrilled with the event. "We shared a fabulous weekend with 70 of our Hadassah sisters from five states as we learned about Hadassah's latest initiatives, sang together, prayed together and were inspired to further our mission of building bridges to peace."

Nancy Falchuk, former national president, was a special guest and provided an informative update of "Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program."

Nashoba Valley Hadassah Chapter co-President Amy Degen hopes to use the initiative's resources to raise awareness that women are increasingly at risk for heart disease, heart disease is 90 percent preventable, and that women have risk factors and present symptoms differently than men.

Nashoba Valley Hadassah's "Every Beat Counts" programs will build on the success of their partnership with Emerson Hospital with the "Check It Out" initiative for breast and testicular health education that travels to high schools and has reached over 15,000 local students.

Other retreat highlights included leadership sessions with Hanna Pollack from National Hadassah, a lively Torah study discussion with rabbinical student Jamie Kotler, and the opportunity to write Hanukkah cards to send to Jewish troops serving in Afghanistan.

The retreat was sponsored in part by grants from both the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Health and Wellness Department of Hadassah.

The Hadassah Medical Organization has achieved international acclaim for promoting peace in the Middle East region by providing equal treatment to all, without regard for race, religion or ethnic origin, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs work side by side for the benefit of the diverse patient population. To serve the vision of founder Henrietta Szold, the Hadassah Medical Organization is continually innovating to serve a changing population with health services and programs open to all. Local Hadassah volunteer chapters throughout the U.S. provide vital support to that work.

For more information on Hadassah, visit hadassah.org or contact cgreenfield@hadassah.org or amyhope11@gmail.com.