Macdonald Women’s Hospital holds dedication for new statue


Christopher Gittings/Observer

The dedication ceremony of the new statue “Where Hope is Born” also celebrated the life of Mort November, a philanthropist who comissioned the project but passed away over the summer.

Cloudless skies and a bright sun set the scene for a crowd of people gathered around a statue in front of Macdonald Women’s Hospital. On Oct. 26, approximately 40 people came out for the dedication of the new statue, “Where Hope is Born,” erected to welcome patients and families into the hospital.

The piece was created by artist Hector Vega and commissioned by philanthropists, Iris and Mort November.

MacDonald Women’s Hospital is a part of University Hospital’s Main Campus, which also encompasses Case Medical Center, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the Seidman Cancer Center. According to Dr. James Liu, chair of OB-GYN, it was difficult for patients to find the women’s hospital’s entrance.

“Our hospital doesn’t have a true entrance,” said Liu. “There’s no way to get to the hospital. We do have an entrance but it is very hard to find.”

Iris and Mort November used this issue as an opportunity to commission, not only a sign, but a statue that catches the eye of whoever walks past it. The new statue, “Where Hope is Born,” sits right across from another of Vega’s works, “Where Dreams Come True.”

“I wanted to convey women and babies of all cultures,” said Vega. “I wanted to portray stay-at-home moms, business moms, and all kinds of women.”

The dedication of the statue began with a speech from Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, Iris and Mort November’s rabbi of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.

“I am blessed to be here by this super facility that is so available in our community,” said Nosanchuk. “Today, we gather aside of a beautiful new statue of where hope is born.”

The event continued with food and laughter. People began to convene and tell stories about the late Mort November, who passed away this July.

“The fact that people remembered him with such love was really great,” said Iris. “He would have had such a great time.”

Iris recalled her reaction when she first saw the completed statue.

“I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and when I saw my name and Mort’s on the statue, I cried,” she said.

Remembering Mort and celebrating his life was a major part of the dedication. Without his willingness to give to the community, this would not have happened.

“There was so much joy in the room,” said Iris. “I was so happy that everyone had so many fond memories of him.”