Sunday, May 31, 2020

Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s official national ambulance and emergency service, will hold its second annual Breakfast for Israel on Sunday, May 19, at Congregation Beth Shalom from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Israel’s former consul general in New York, Ido Aharoni; Magen David Adom’s head of terrorism-response training, Guy Caspi; and Sarri Singer, an American who nearly lost her life in Israel when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive device aboard the bus she was riding, will be among the featured speakers, which will also include Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin. The breakfast will be hosted by Teaneck Deputy Mayor Elie Katz and his wife, Esther. Zev Brenner, host of the popular Jewish radio program Talkline, will serve as master of ceremonies.

“This is an opportunity to hear firsthand about the lifesaving work of Magen David Adom and the impact it’s making every day on the lives of Israelis,” said Deputy Mayor Katz.

MDA is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1930 by nurse Karen Tenenbaum. Beginning as a volunteer organization that operated around Tel Aviv, since its inception it has grown on a national scale, and in 1950 the Knesset recognized it as the official emergency service of Israel. Today it provides services to those in need throughout Israel and is comprised of more than 23,000 volunteers and 2,200 full-time professionals. Every year MDA takes more than five million calls that include everything from everyday emergencies such as car accidents and people in need of medical attention, to more large-scale situations such as terror attacks.

“The goal of the breakfast is to both raise awareness for the incredible work that Magen David Adom does and also help them out by raising funds,” said Elie Katz. “In Israel, MDA provides 97 percent of the blood supply and 100 percent of the blood supply for the army. They do it all without one penny from the government and yet they are expected to do the job that they do and do it well. They really are a great resource, not just for the State of Israel, but for the world, and it’s a great feeling to know we are supporting them.”

Also at the event, Jewish Link Co-Publisher and Teaneck Deputy Mayor Mark Schwartz will be presented with the MDA Lifesaving Award, Yavneh Academy will be recognized for raising money to donate a Life Support Ambulance to Magen David Adom, and Juda Engelmayer will receive the Public Safety Award.

“Over the last few years I have spent many of the holidays and summers in Israel. As I am an emergency responder locally in Bergen County, I fully appreciate, support and am honestly extremely impressed by Magen David Adom’s staff, volunteers and their supporters. I count friends and family as past volunteers and am amazed by their selfishness and acts of heroism,” noted Schwartz.

Natalie and Davidi Jonas are longtime staunch supporters of Magen David Adom. Davidi commented, “It’s a blessing from God to be in a position to support great organizations. MDA does amazing work. They save lives and help people. All day, every day...that is what drives them. It doesn’t matter how you look or pray or what your politics or your economic status. If MDA can provide help...they will.”

He added, “Studies show that engagement engenders a deeper connection than simply learning about something (passively) or giving money. Engaging the students to become ambassadors for MDA—by soliciting donations (and having the language to do so), being able to see, hear and touch an ambulance, ask questions of a medic, etc.—we hope will foster a deep, lifelong connection with MDA, and the mission of MDA: to help, to heal, to save lives.”

Katz remarked that he and his wife became involved with MDA several years ago to honor the memory of his father-in-law who was a firm supporter of the organization.

“Before he passed away, my wife’s father was a big believer in Israel and what Magen David Adom stands for,” said Deputy Mayor Katz. “As a result, we wanted to create our own personal connection with it and continue his legacy. This organization means so much to me, and I just wanted to also make a point to express my thanks to our sponsors, Congregation Beth Shalom, The Jewish Link, Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky and Herold PR. If not for those individuals and organizations we would not have been able to put this event together.”

He continued, “There is no greater mitzvah than to save a life… This breakfast is helping Magen David Adom in Israel acquire the necessary resources and equipment to continue to save lives every day.”

Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 354 Maitland Avenue in Teaneck.

For more information or to register for the event, go to afmda.org/breakfast2019 or contact Emily Posner at [email protected] or 646.388.7504. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. All proceeds will benefit Magen David Adom.