Candice Feldman Becomes Hadassah Leadership Fellow

Candice Feldman (Courtesy of Hadassah)

At 17, Candice Feldman visited Israel with Camp Harlam. Like many Jews who go for the first time, she was struck by a feeling: We are the majority here.

It’s still with her today.

That’s why the now 41-year-old has worked with Hadassah, a women’s organization that operates two hospitals and two communities for at-risk children and teens in the Jewish state, since 2016. It’s also why she’s working as the Greater Philadelphia chapter’s vice president for communications and advocacy. And it’s especially why she wanted to be a part of the organization’s second Evolve class of leadership fellows.

Hadassah launched Evolve in 2022 “to inspire and train the next generation of Hadassah leaders,” per a news release on the new class. The fellows are “women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who work in fashion, civil litigation and engineering,” among other professions. They will spend the next year meeting with Hadassah’s national leaders and experiencing “Hadassah’s programs and initiatives.”

A trip to Israel in February will allow fellows to see the Hadassah Medical Organization, a hospital system, and Hadassah Neurim and Meir Shfeyah, Hadassah’s youth villages.

“Hadassah has many missions and, to me, they all put Jewish values into action,” Feldman said. “The missions are humanitarian in nature, so it was something I could really get behind.”

Feldman, an engineer by trade, works for a medical device company, Fujirebio, in Malvern. She has spent nearly two decades working in drug and vaccine development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

By 34, she was established. So, she realized she had time “to join a volunteer organization,” she said. A friend told her about Hadassah.

“There’s a group of young Jewish women getting together in Center City,” Feldman recalled. “Maybe you want to go.”

She did, and she met other women who “also supported Israel and persuaded me to get involved.” Feldman didn’t belong to a synagogue at the time. She still doesn’t. Hadassah became her Jewish organization.

Feldman grew up in what she described as “a strong Jewish household.” She went to Harlam, a Reform Jewish camp in the Poconos. Her family attended Temple Hesed in Scranton and celebrated Jewish holidays throughout the year. Often, Feldman would invite her non-Jewish friends.

The 41-year-old also has fond memories of going to the Scranton JCC to “play basketball, cook and have parties.”

“That was a very positive communal experience,” she said.

Along the way, Feldman grew to appreciate one of the most important values of Reform Judaism: tikkun olam, healing the world. Today, she said she likes how Hadassah’s hospitals and youth villages are open to all.

“It ties into tikkun olam and repairing the world and just helping people of all backgrounds,” she said.

As a Hadassah member, Feldman has organized book clubs, dining clubs and fundraisers. She has helped the Philadelphia chapter schedule Zoom calls with local and national legislators to discuss issues relating to Israel.

Feldman wants to be an Evolve fellow to “continue educating the Jewish community about the work that Hadassah does,” to “meet more Jewish women and Zionists around the nation” and to “maintain my connection to Israel.”

She also hopes to encourage other young women to join Hadassah. Feldman wants to see Hadassah play a big role in organizing more events for local Jewish organizations.

“All different areas of Jewish life coming together,” she said. “Working across organizations.”

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