have seen and heard so much about the (Middle East) conflict,
that it's a relief to see a place which is an island of peace,” said a member
of the David Project delegation, which visited the Hadassah Medical Organization on
The David Project is a
Boston-based Israel advocacy organization, which educates campus activists from
around North America. A key element of its educational program is the “Israel
Uncovered” mission, which takes students to Israel to learn about the country
firsthand. Past National Hadassah President Nancy Falchuk sits on the David Projectboard and ensured
that a visit to Hadassah was on the delegates’ itinerary.
bus of the students, representing diverse
ethnic backgrounds, arrived at Hadassah in the morning and the second, in the
afternoon. Both groups toured the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower and the
Chagall windows. The morning group visited the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother
and Child Center, where the students witnessed the full array of ethnic groups
among the pediatric patients. The afternoon group visited the Judy and Sidney Swartz
Center for Emergency Medicine, where adults of all different ethnic groups were
being treated. The morning group met Dr. Amjad Faran, a Jordanian/Palestinian
resident in anesthesiology, who shared his experience as a Palestinian working
in Hadassah's hospital. He told the delegates that his residency is the envy of Palestinian
colleagues who are studying in other countries. “They are in good programs,” he
said, “but I get to do far more than they do and have superior training.”
Faran added: “There's also an emphasis on research, even for residents, so that
this will become an important part of my medical career.” Responding to the
students’ questions, Dr. Faran said he had never had difficulty with patients
rejecting him because he is a Palestinian, and that he is a totally integrated
member of the department. Dr. Faran lives in Ramallah with his wife and child,
and his only complaint is the extra time it takes him to get home.
afternoon student group met 25-year-old Dvir Moussai, who hails from near
Hebron. Mr. Moussai was injured in a terror attack when he was a teenager and
treated at Hadassah. He is now a volunteer at the hospital.
explained to the students that he had over 30 operations at Hadassah to correct
the damage caused by stepping on a landmine while on a cherry-picking class
trip. “At the beginning, it was hard for me to share a room with Arabs or to be
treated by them,” he said. “But just being in Hadassah changed the way I feel.
Now I'm comfortable with everyone.”
the students commented that the trip to Hadassah was reassuring. One student
noted that it was “an eye opener.” Pauline Marcucci of Temple University in
Philadelphia said: “I want to thank you for taking the time to show us through
your beautiful and inspiring hospital, where it is very exciting to see Israel
work progressively towards peace and togetherness.”
With 500 beds, 19 stories (five underground) and state-of-the-art technical equipment, the Tower is the most advanced medical facility in the Middle East.