SAVING ISRAELI LIVES BY SIPPING ISRAELI WINES
AFMDA and the Israeli Wine Producers Association Announce New Partnership
to Help Save Lives in Israel with Magen David Adom
As Americans continue to look for ways to support Israel after this summer’s Operation Protective Edge, a new partnership can help them save lives in Israel while also sustaining the country’s growing wine industry.
American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and the Israeli Wine Producers Association (IWPA) have announced a new initiative whereby IWPA will donate $24 to MDA (via AFMDA) for every 12 bottles of Israeli wines purchased through October 31, 2014. The funds will help MDA, Israel’s national emergency medical response and blood services organization, replenish critical medical supplies such as needles, bandages, and blood transfusion kits that were used up during Operation Protective Edge.
With the high holidays fast approaching, now is a great time to buy Israeli wines. Among the wineries participating are Gamla, Barkan, Carmel, Shiloh, Binyamina, Flam, Segal’s, and Domaine du Castel. Many of Israel’s 300 wineries are now producing internationally-renown wines, and sales of Israeli wines top $315 million annually.
The participating Israeli wines can be purchased at retailers and online. Rebates and receipts must be mailed by November 30, 2014 to qualify. The $24 donation will be made only in increments of 12 purchased bottles; although the denomination does not matter (i.e. a person can provide three receipts with four bottles on each). The donation rebate forms for MDA are available in stores, as well as online at: : www.afmda.org/wine-rebate and www.iwpa.com/rebate.php
NEFESH B’NEFESH TO HOLD MEGA ALIYAH FAIR IN TIMES SQUARE, MARCH 9TH
Israeli Minister of Immigration and Absorption, MK Sofa Landver, to be the keynote speaker at the event
Sunday, March 9, 12:00 pm, Crowne Plaza Times Square, 1605 Broadway, New York, NY
Nefesh B’Nefesh will be conducting a week of Aliyah Fairs in seven major cities across North America in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA. The Aliyah Fairs, which will take place in Toronto, Montreal, Florida, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York between March 2nd and 10th, will incorporate Aliyah-related seminars and workshops, as well as personal consultations with staff from The Jewish Agency for Israel, Tzofim Garin Tzabar and Nefesh B’Nefesh including representatives from the ‘Go North’ and ‘Go South’ programs. Representatives from various Israeli municipalities, high schools and universities, MATI business development for entrepreneurs, real estate developers and agents, financial consultants, insurance agents and shippers will also be present for participants to consult with.
Israeli Minister of Immigration and Absorption, MK Sofa Landver, will be the guest speaker. Participants will benefit from workshops and seminars on various topics such as: Careers in Israel, Financial Planning, Taxes & Budgeting, The Israeli Healthcare System, Introduction to the Aliyah Process, Aliyah Rights and Benefits and the ‘Go North’ and ‘Go South’ Programs. In addition, representatives of The Jewish Agency for Israel will speak about the process for verifying Aliyah eligibility and the various programs it offers to assist immigrants in their transition to Israeli life.
To date, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted over 38,000 Olim. More than 50,000 North American and British Jews have attended Nefesh B'Nefesh pre-Aliyah informational seminars throughout the US, Canada and UK, including specially tailored programs, events and individual counseling sessions. For a full schedule of these Aliyah fairs, please visit www.nbn.org.il/mega.
About Nefesh B’Nefesh:
Founded in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency for Israel, is dedicated to revitalizing Aliyah from North America and the UK by removing or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of Aliyah. To date, Nefesh B'Nefesh has assisted over 38,000 newcomers to Israel.
KATIE COURIC, MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, RON PROSOR SHINE AT BENEFIT DINNER FOR MDA
Sold-Out New York City event raises $1M for lifesaving ambulances and equipment in Israel; Meredith Berkman and Dr. Sarah Sternklar honored
New York — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, and Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor helped American Friends of Magen David Adom (MDA) raise $1 million for MDA at its Annual New York Benefit Dinner Monday night in Manhattan. All funds will go to support ambulances and lifesaving equipment for MDA, Israel’s national emergency-response, ambulance, and blood-services organization.
More than 400 guests attended the event, which honored Meredith Berkman with AFMDA’s 2013 Humanitarian Award. Dr. Sarah Sternklar received AFMDA’s 2013 Woman of Valor Award. “MDA’s willingness to help save all lives is something we all should rally behind,” said Couric, who hosted the event. “I’ve built a career on the pursuit of a good story. And in a part of the world that’s constantly producing ominous headlines, I've clearly found a positive one.”
Mayor Bloomberg, whose 20-year support of MDA includes helping finance construction of the William H. Bloomberg Jerusalem MDA Emergency Medical Station, presented both honorees with their awards. He also proclaimed December 9 to be “Magen David Adom Day” in New York City. Ambassador Prosor surprised guests by coming to pay tribute to MDA and Berkman, a New York–based journalist and philanthropist.
“MDA is about saving lives in Israel and around the world, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you believe,” Berkman said. “It’s an organization that represents the best of our Jewish and human values, at a time when Israel faces existential threats on so many fronts.”
Dr. Sternklar, a Manhattan psychologist and Berkman’s good friend and partner in various charitable ventures, dedicated her award to MDA’s first responders. “They risk their lives; when Israel needs them, when we need them, they are always there,” she said.
The New York dinner continues recent fundraising successes for AFMDA throughout the U.S. In October, its inaugural Los Angeles gala raised nearly $4 million, the most ever at an AFMDA event. Subsequent major events in Detroit, Cleveland, and Aventura, Fla., have raised well over $2 million. AFMDA’s next major events are in Florida: the Porto Vita Dinner in Aventura is Tuesday, February 4, and the Celebration of Life Gala in Palm Beach is Sunday, February 23.
MDA provides a rapid and skilled emergency medical response, including disaster, ambulance, and blood services, to Israel’s 8 million people. MDA is the only organization mandated by the Israeli government to serve in this role, but is not a government agency, instead relying on funding from donors around the world. AFMDA is MDA’s U.S.-based fundraising affiliate, raising more than 80 percent of the charitable dollars MDA receives annually. www.afmda.org.
Photo Credit: Howard Wechsler
American Technion Society Metro Region Elects New Leader
Ken Rubenstein, a New York lawyer and active philanthropist in the Jewish community, has been elected to lead the largest U.S. branch of the American Technion Society (ATS), which raises support for and awareness of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. Mr. Rubenstein, 59, co-head of the Patent Law Group at Proskauer Rose LLP, will be installed as president of the ATS New York Metropolitan Region at a celebratory ATS dinner on October 2, 2013, succeeding Rod Feldman, who has held the position since November 2010.
“I believe that the future of Israel is in high-tech, both from the point of view of the economy and the defense of the country; and the Technion produces the manpower that makes that possible,” says Mr. Rubenstein. “I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge.”
Mr. Rubenstein would like to strengthen the organization by expanding the New York Metropolitan Board of Directors from its current 24 members by at least another 10 people. “I'd like to reach out to people from different demographic and professional areas, Technion alumni included, and look forward to their active participation.”
One of his priorities is to raise $50 million dollars over the next two years, $30 million of which will complete the New York Metropolitan Region Campaign; the remaining $20 million will support the faculty, students and research initiatives of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII).
The Region has been blessed with great leadership,” says Jerome Kleinman, Director of the ATS New York Metropolitan Region. “Rod (Feldman) leaves a great legacy of enthusiasm and appreciation for what the Technion means to Israel and the world,” he says of the outgoing president. “And we are excited about working with Ken, whose energy and dedication to the Technion is unsurpassed.”
Mr. Rubenstein is an alumnus of MIT, where he earned his bachelor's and doctorate degrees in Physics in 1975 and 1979, respectively. He went on to study law at New York Law School, earning his J.D. in 1983. His background in science was a natural fit for patent law as well as for his interest in the Technion.
Mr. Rubenstein, involved with ATS since 1980. has served on the local ATS board for the past six years. He also has generously supported several Technion projects, including an apartment in the Morton and Beverley Rechler Family Foundation Dormitory and the MIT-Technion Hibur Program.
In addition to his support for the Technion, Mr. Rubenstein and his wife Randee have been involved in other Jewish and Israeli organizations including AIPAC; the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey; Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School; and Greater MetroWest Day School Initiative for Excellence and Affordability. He and Randee live in Long Branch, New Jersey, and Manhattan. They have four children, and two grandchildren. One daughter is currently a student in the TEAMS (Technion American Medical School) program.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel's renown as the world's “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is a vital component of Cornell NYC Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City's economy.
American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion - Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.
Historic Sales: Over $1 Billion In 2013 U.S. Israel Bond Investments
NEW YORK- Annual Israel bond investments in the U.S. domestic market exceeded $1 billion for the first time, as 2013 sales broke through the historic threshold in early November and continue to surge. With six weeks still remaining in the year, it is anticipated domestic investments in Israel bonds will surpass $1.1 billion.
By comparison, U.S. Israel bond investments for 2011 were $634 million. For 2012, they reached $816 million, which, at the time, represented an all-time high for domestic Israel bond sales.
In praising the record results, Sigalit Siag, Israel’s chief fiscal officer for the Western Hemisphere, applauded the Bonds organization for “proving itself once again as a reliable source of funding for Israel’s economy.” She cited the organization’s “unique ability to raise capital,” as well as its success in securing sales from “a strong, diverse investor base.”
Bonds Chairman of the Board Richard Hirsch said the record sales "solidify the reputation of the Bonds organization as a dependable economic and strategic resource for Israel." Added President & CEO Izzy Tapoohi: “The $1 billion achievement dispels the notion that Israel bonds are bought in great numbers only when Israel confronts a crisis. Today, Israel bonds are perceived not only as a gesture of solidarity, but as an opportunity to become a stakeholder in one of the world’s most resilient economies.”
Development Corporation for Israel, commonly known as Israel Bonds, offers investments that diversify portfolios and preserve capital. Capital realized through the sale of Israel bonds has developed every aspect of Israel’s economy, enabling cutting-edge innovation that saves lives and changes the world on a daily basis. Recognized as a valued economic and strategic resource, the Bonds organization has secured global sales exceeding $35 billion since the first bonds were issued in 1951.
Contact: James S. Galfund
Charity on the Kinneret: Tiberias Soup Kitchen Serves Hot Food Seasoned with Kindness
Mrs. Lee Steinberg and Meir Panim are celebrating the 12th anniversary of the Free Restaurant in Tiberias, Israel. This restaurant-style soup kitchen known for its delicious, nutritious meals served in a dignified and inviting atmosphere. One hundred and sixty meals are served daily and sixty Meals-on-Wheels are packaged and delivered to the homebound. Located in the city center, the Tiberias Free Restaurant serves people who come daily to get a nutritious, and for many, their only hot meal of the day.
In addition to fresh, hot daily meals, visitors to the Tiberias Free Restaurant may take home extra portions. Before holidays and Shabbat, the restaurant donates food and packaged meals to the needy.
According to Shmuel Levy, logistics manager for Meir Panim, the demographics of visitors to the Meir Panim restaurant vary, from the elderly barely surviving on pension funds to the working poor struggling to feed their
Eighty-five-year-old Ruth called Meir Panim “something special.” Widowed, Ruth said she fell into a serious depression after her husband passed away four years ago.
The restaurant not only provides her with a warm meal, but gives her the opportunity to socialize as well. “They take care of us and are kind,” she said. “This institution is doing a huge mitzvah in taking care of us – the people of Israel who have no family or work to sustain us.”
Mrs. Steinberg, who resides in Floral Park, NY, has funded this operation since its inception. While her philanthropy and interest is wide-spread, her connection with Meir Panim is particularly strong. She is also involved with the Israel Nutrition Center in Kiryat Gat, which will further extend the wide range of food and outreach programs of Meir Panim. She is looking forward to the opening of this revolutionary new facility.
Her father’s family (the Baum family of Fort Wayne, Indiana) was staunchly Zionist and recognized, early on, the urgent need for a Jewish homeland. They were instrumental in creating the first girls’ agricultural school in Israel.
“It has been most rewarding to be a part of American Friends of Meir Panim,” says Mrs. Steinberg. “I am watching Meir Panim grow into a nationwide network of centers providing every type of sustenance for those in need, regardless of background or ethnicity.”
HASHAVA Increases Aid To Holocaust Survivors during the High Holidays
During the High Holiday season, a period when the expenses tend to grow, HASHAVA doubled the monthly grant to Holocaust survivors to provide the necessary aid and assistance to enable survivors to enjoy this special time of the year.
HASHAVA (The Holocaust Restitution Company of Israel) was established in 2007, following the 2006 enactment of the Holocaust Victims' Assets Law passed by the Knesset of the State of Israel. The objective established for HASHAVA is to locate assets in Israel of Holocaust victims and returning them to the rightful heirs all over the world.
Each year, HASHAVA provides about 100 million shekels of aid and assistance to approximately 11,000 Holocaust survivors in need. Aid comes in various ways, including:
- The transfer of quarterly monetary grants issued directly to the survivors.
- Distribution of cash debit cards for the purchasing of goods in supermarket.
- Contributing to the cost of purchasing prescription medications.
- Furthermore HASHAVA is engaged in renovating the homes of Holocaust survivors in need and adapting these homes to their special needs.
For further information, please call +972-3-516 4117
Mega Martha’s Vineyard Festival To Benefit Kidney Disease Research in Israel
The inaugural “On the Vine” music and entertainment festival will be held in Martha’s Vineyard on Aug. 22-25, attracting celebrities and artists to raise awareness about kidney disease and support remarkable research at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
On The Vine will be a four-day showcase of artistic, musical and theatrical talents united in reducing the prevalence of kidney disease among African Americans.
Proceeds from the festival will go to benefit research by Professor Karl Skorecki, the director of medical and research development at Rambam, and colleagues who have identified the gene that marks the prevalence for kidney disease among people of African descent, thus paving the way for researchers to better prevent and treat conditions.
“As an observant Jew and a Jew living in Israel, I think that what I’m doing is a continuation of what millennia of others have done; the Jewish people have always tried to be at the forefront of tikun olam [repairing the world] and being a part of the universal message of trying your best” said Dr. Skorecki.
African Americans are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease and some 12 million African Americans are diagnosed with the condition. About 30 percent of all patients treated for kidney failure are African American.
Singer Natalie Cole, a kidney disease survivor, will headline the event with R&B musician Kenny "BabyFace" Edmonds. Also preforming will be comedian and actor Richard Lewis from the series Curb Your Enthusiasm. During the festival, there will be a silent auction of celebrity goods and appearances by an assortment of performers, including Grammy Award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, and jazz greats Kahil El Zabar, Roy Hargrove and James Carter.
American Friends of Rambam Executive Director Michele Segelnick said, “We are collaborating with ‘On The Vine’ to emphasize the importance of shedding light to the horrible impact kidney disease has had on the African American community and the potential of the research being conducted at Rambam. We are excited about all who have come together in support of this cause.”
Segelnick added, “We are proud to show how Israel, as the Jewish nation, is working to improve the health and the lives of other population groups. It is quintessential that Jews and non-Jews alike can benefit from Rambam’s research and innovation, because the hospital stands on offer fair and quality care to all individuals.”
Here is a link to a video about the upcoming event.
Investing In Israel
New York UJA-Federation Executive Vice President and CEO John Ruskay (left) presents Israel Bonds President and CEO Izzy Tapoohi (center) and Chairman of the Board Richard L. Hirsch (right) with a check for $7.5 million, representing the Federation’s investment in Israel bonds.
Ruskay said this is “another critical way to invest in the strength and future of the State of Israel.” Izzy Tapoohi expressed appreciation, saying, “The UJA Federation has a strong record of support that reflects the organization’s confidence in the investment value of Israel bonds and the strength of Israel’s economy.
Investing in Israel bonds also sends a strong message to BDS proponents, letting them know they will never win.”
Photo credit: Richard Lobell
Dr Oz: ‘Coexistence Model’ Found at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital
Internationally acclaimed healer of the body Dr. Mehmet Oz joined Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, called by many a healer of the soul, on a visit to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa on July 31.
“I learned about Rambam several years ago and its rich tradition in innovation,” Dr. Oz said. “Rambam is entrenched with a culture of a heterogeneous mix of Arabs and Israelis – a microcosm of what it should be like in the whole world… Rambam is a model of coexistence,” Dr. Oz told hundreds of medical specialists and fans.
Led by Prof. Karl Skorecki, Rambam’s director of medical and research development, Dr. Oz and Rabbi Boteach toured the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital and Rambam’s state-of-the-art shock-trauma ward, prior to hosting a public lecture on health, morality, religion and culture.
Upon entering the underground hospital, Dr. Oz said that it “speaks to how we need a holistic place for healing, which means a hospital’s commitment to giving [patients] peace of mind in all conditions, including wartime.” He continued, this facility “also means giving you peace of mind when you go to the hospital in wartime that you are in a healing environment.”
Following rocket attacks from Lebanon that landed on the Rambam Health Care Campus in the summer of 2006, the hospital began constructing a 1,500 car parking lot that within 72 hours can be converted into 2,000-bed underground hospital, the world’s largest subterranean hospital facility. The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency hospital is protected against biological
or chemical warfare, complete with its own generators, water supply, state-of-the-art equipment and more.
Because Rambam is the largest full-service and trauma hospital serving the two million residents of northern Israel, this facility will prepare the hospital to continue treating patients in case of war. Rambam is now beginning its final push to equip this underground hospital for use when needed.
Photo on right:
Dr. Mehmet Oz and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach pose for cameras during a tour of the construction zone of the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital.
Photo on left: Dr. Mehmet Oz and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach answer questions about Jewish and medical values from David Sterling, treasurer of American Friends of Rambam.
Pictures (Credit Pioter Fliter)
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem To Host Symposium on Breast Cancer
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, which has established itself as one of Israel’s leading hospitals for the treatment of breast cancer and related conditions, will host a “Breast Cancer Symposium” on Sunday, July 21, 2013.
Three guest speakers will address participants as well as join in a panel discussion. They are Dr. Armando E. Giuliano, Executive Vice Chair of Surgery for Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles; Professor Hadassah Degani, a member of the faculty of The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and an Israel Cancer Association-funded researcher who developed a non-invasive method to differentiate between cancerous tumors of the breast and benign lumps; and Dr. Pavel Crystal, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Staff Radiologist of Breast Imaging for the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.
Professor Jonathan Halevy, Director-General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center since 1988, will preside over the symposium.
Earlier this year, Shaare Zedek Medical Center opened the all new Diagnostic Breast Health Center, a comprehensive facility for the identification and diagnosis of growths and tumors in the breast. The Center is directed by one of the world’s leading mammography experts as well as one Israel’s premier breast cancer diagnosticians, Dr. Shalom Strano.
American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center (ACSZ) raises funds to support the work of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. For 111 years, the hospital has played an essential role in the life of the city. The 800 bed facility treats hundreds of thousands of patients a year in its 30 inpatient Departments and 70 outpatient units.
ISRAEL BONDS’ SUMMER DEBUT IN HAMPTONS
Teaming up with the Hampton Synagogue for the Fourth of July weekend, Israel Bonds sold more than $9 million in Israeli securities at a series of exciting and well-attended events. Israel Bonds President & CEO Izzy Tapoohi said it was a spectacularly successful experience and gladly accepted Rabbi Marc Schneier’s suggestion that it become an annual summer happening at the Hampton Synagogue. “In addition to being our auspicious summer debut in an area of extraordinary potential,” Mr. Tapoohi said,”it was one of the most successful synagogue events we have ever held.”
Co-chaired by Carol Levin and Jeff Weisenfeld, the weekend included a special talk on Shabbat by Mr. Tapoohi, who is a noted expert on the Israeli economy; a Saturday night talent show featuring Broadway entertainers and an invitational Sunday morning brunch honoring Florence and Michael Edelstein for their generous support of the Israel Bonds program. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was an enthusiastic guest of honor and said that New York State continues to invest substantially in Israel bonds because it supports the only democracy in the Middle East and is a “strong, solid investment.”
From left to right:, Jeff Weisenfeld - Co-chairman, Bobby Fisher - Member of the Hampton Synagogue, Carol Levin - Co-chairman, David Pasternack - Executive Director of Israel Bonds, NY New York State Comptroller - Tom DiNapoli
UPCOMING MACCABIAH GAMES IN ISRAEL EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES NAMED OFFICIAL CARRIER
As the official airline of the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel, EL AL is getting ready to bring thousands of athletes, families and friends on flights from all over the world to attend these historical games which are scheduled to open July 18th. There will be 42 different sporting events under four main categories:Juniors, Open, Masters and Paralympic, with 9,000 atheletes from over 80 countries.
“Since its establishment, EL AL activities have been consistently interlinked with special important national events taking place in Israel,” said Elyezer Shkedy, CEO of EL AL Israel Airlines.
Olympic Gold medalist Aly Raisman will participate in the Opening Ceremony and NBA veteran Danny Schayes will coach a USA team. Other renowned sports figures who will travel on a specially designated EL AL flight from Canada include NBA powerhouse Amar’e Stoudemire who will coach a Maccabiah Canada basketball team and NHL Coach Mike Keenan.
“The 2013 Maccabiah is going to be the largest ever and most challenging of all Maccabiah events,” said Amir Peled, Maccabiah chair. “This is the third largest
international sports event in the world and aims to make all participants supporters of Israel. The contribution of the event to Israel’s economy and tourism as well as the link between Israel and the Diaspora is tremendous.”
For more information about the Maccabiah games in Israel, visit www.maccabiahusa.com.
For more information about EL AL, visit www.elal.com, or call EL AL at (800) 223-6700.
Photo Credit: Maccabiah USA
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem Holds Large Scale Earthquake Drill
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, in collaboration with the IDF Homefront Command, the Israeli Police and Magen David Adom, participated in a large-scale simulation drill of a major earthquake centered in the Dead Sea Valley, approximately 40 miles from the hospital. The drill, held on June 20, was supervised by Dr. Ofer Merin, Deputy Director General of Shaare Zedek and Director of the hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Program.
Jerusalem sits on a key fault line and historically the city experiences an earthquake once every 100 years. Over the past 100 years, Jerusalem has undergone massive urbanization and much of this construction, does not conform to basic codes to withstand tremors. Accordingly, the IDF’s Homefront Command estimates that a major earthquake of between 6 and 7 on the Richter Scale could result in over 7,000 dead and tens of thousands of others injured in the immediate Jerusalem area. Over 170,000 people could need to be evacuated from their homes as a result of a quake.
In the event of a catastrophe it is essential that the city’s key hospitals and their personnel can continue to operate at peak efficiency. Shaare Zedek’s location, tucked into the face of a mountain, is believed to make it better protected in the event of a major tremor.
The drill tested the hospital staff’s ability to quickly and effectively evacuate medical departments and set up a triage field hospital on the medical center campus. Prior to the drill, more than 2,300 Shaare Zedek personnel underwent training to familiarize them with the relevant protocols for earthquake disaster response.
Following the simulation, Dr. Merin reported, “Members of the Ministry of Health and the IDF Homefront Command who came to evaluate the performance of the hospital in this drill praised Shaare Zedek, saying that we had established a new, higher standard for preparedness for emergency situations. I feel confident that after all of the efforts that have been invested in preparing for this drill, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center is more prepared for any emergency situation.”
American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center (ACSZ) raises funds to support the work of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. For 111 years, the hospital has played an essential role in the life of the city and its uniquely diverse population, providing an exceptional blend of advanced medicine, modern innovation and compassion to all who enter its doors.
Rambam Hospital Awarded $5 Million Grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust
(New York, NY) – Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, has received a $5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in order to purchase the necessary medical equipment for its new fortified underground emergency hospital.
The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital is a three-story, 60,000 square meter facility, which is fully fortified against both conventional and unconventional warfare. As the largest hospital of its kind in the world, it can convert from a 1,500-vehicle parking lot into a 2,000-bed emergency hospital within just 72 hours of war being declared. The grant will go towards buying equipment for the hospital, thereby contributing enormously to preparing it for use.
“The initiative for a fortified hospital came about following the Second Lebanon War six years ago,” states Professor Rafi Beyar, Director and CEO of Rambam Health Care Campus. During the course of the war, 45 missiles fell in close proximity to Rambam, and although no one was hurt, it triggered off the thinking among hospital executives that action needed to be taken. “We realized that we couldn’t rely on miracles anymore,” continues Beyar. “We had to prepare for any future threat by having a safe area where patients could be moved to and where staff could function.”
Six years later, the building of the new fortified hospital is almost complete and once all the relevant equipment has been bought, the hospital will be fully functional.
“We are extremely thankful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for granting us this donation, which we will use in order to procure vital equipment for the hospital,” remarks Beyar. “Unfortunately, the threat of war has grown increasingly strong over recent years. As the main referral hospital for over two million people in the North of Israel, Rambam Hospital is determined to have the capabilities of providing acute and chronic hospital care under fire to all those who need it.”
“As security and health care preparedness are core objectives of our program in Israel, we are pleased to support Rambam in equipping this vitally important new facility,” said Sandor Frankel, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust.
About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust:
The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in a variety of selected program areas. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $800 million to a wide range of charitable organizations. The Trust’s grantmaking program in Israel supports leading institutions and initiatives that seek to strengthen the nation’s leadership in scientific, technological and medical research, its health care preparedness, and its standing in the world. For more information on the Trust and its programs, please visit www.helmsleytrust.org.
About Rambam Hospital:
Rambam Health Care Campus is the largest medical center in Northern Israel, serving more than two million residents. Recognized worldwide as a center of excellence in all medical specialties, its global prominence in trauma and emergency medicine is a direct result of its prodigious experience providing medical treatment to injured civilians and soldiers.