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Deep into culutral roots

Diversity-awareness was the central theme of an informational booth and “Lunch and Learn” about Hungary event held at Beth Israel Medical Center-Kings Highway Division on the United Nations-declared International Migrants Day.

“Fruits of Our Labor,” a cookbook featuring favorite recipes from around the world contributed by employees made its debut, alongside a “Lunch and Learn” about Hungary. The book was the outcome of a Diversity Council project that had been a year in planning, according to Co-Chair Marsha Chyrack, Manager of Admitting.

Diversity Council members Rosa Raffaele, Mary Anne Ingrassia, Marisa Ognibene and Melanie Sacay were busy manning the information booth. Employees lined up for complimentary cookbooks and informational material on diversity-awareness, and posted stickers on a world map to show their country of origin. Some had come from as far away as Greece and China…others no farther than Brooklyn. Many small countries in the Caribbean and Central America were completely covered up with happy faces.

Several attended the presentation by Admitting Representative Ibolya Lasky, who talked about life in Hungary, her journey to the US in 1989, and eventually her employment at Beth Israel in 2005. Lasky has three fellow Hungarians working at the hospital…two of whom are her siblings – Valerya Meltser, who works in Dietary and has been with the hospital since 1976, and Bela Milbauer, who has been with Housekeeping since 2006. After a brief Q&A, colleagues were treated to a sampling of Hungarian goulash and a specialty treat.

“Sharing personal stories is a good way to increase understanding of one another,” said Rhona Hetsrony, vice president for Administration, who has been a strong advocate of the Diversity Council’s efforts. “We hope to have other staff members talk about where they had come from in future sessions.”

Beth Israel Medical Center-Kings Highway Division is located at 3201 Kings Highway.

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