Sharon Sisselsky lives in Orlando, Fla., about 170 miles from the Ft. Myers location of President Barack Obama’s Tuesday town hall meeting. But after receiving an invite to the meeting from the White House, a long drive wasn’t much of an obstacle for Sisselsky.
As the president of Hadassah’s Florida central region, Sisselsky was one of 10 Hadassah members who got tickets to hear the president speak and answer questions about the economic recovery package. She said Hadassah was asked to attend by Danielle Borrin, one of the two White House staffers handling outreach to the Jewish community, and she and her fellow Floridians were thrilled to accept the invite — and even got sixth-row seats.
"It was probably the most exciting thing that’s happened in my three years as president" of the region, said Sisselsky, calling Obama was "very uplifting, very inspiring."
She said the president probably didn’t say anything she hadn’t heard him say about the economy over the past week, but was impressed that he tailored his remarks specifically to Florida — noting, for instance, the terrible housing market in the area.
She wanted to ask Obama about how we would make sure that Americans, in this weak economy, still had money left for philanthropy, but didn’t get selected during the question period. But any disappointment of not getting called on was far outweighed by he excitement of having Hadassah get asked to come to the event.
"It really shows the value we have," she said, "and how respected we are as an organization."