"I am thrilled to be able to bring many Hadassah leaders and donors, as well as other philanthropists, together at my home," Mrs. Davidson said. "Hadassah is a wonderful organization and the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower is a truly exciting project."
Hadassah's newly elected National President, Marcie Natan, welcomed the guests. The two keynote speakers were Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Director General of the Hadassah Medical Center, and Professor Dimitrios Karussis, Co-Director of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Department of Neurology, Hadassah Medical Center.
"The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower is the mission of our generation," said Prof. Mor-Yosef. "With our passion, our commitment and our dedication, our professionalism and tzedakah, our love and our dedication to tikkun olam, we will complete the task."
Andrea and Moshe Silagi and Judi and Brad Schram were the Co-Chairs for the evening.
"The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower brings not only the best in medical care and biomedical research to Israel and the Middle East, but also the special promise of sustaining Hadassah's future for the next 100 years," Mr. Silagi stated.
Hadassah has been the medical pacesetter for Israel and the Middle East for almost a century. Hadassah's two hospital campuses in Jerusalem employ 5,000 people, including 850 physicians, 1,940 nurses and 1,020 paramedical and support staff, and encompass more than 1,000 beds, 31 operating theaters, nine intensive care units and more than 120 outpatient clinics. Hadassah's hospitals accommodate more than one million patient visits annually. Counting all of its institutions, Hadassah is Jerusalem's largest non-governmental employer.
The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower is the largest project ever undertaken by Hadassah. The 19-story building (1,000,000 square feet), with five floors underground and 14 above ground, will include 500 beds, 20 operating rooms and 60 intensive care beds. Recognizing Hadassah's unique combination of experience and excellence, the government of Israel has declared Hadassah's Medical Center a strategic site in times of war and on an ongoing basis. The new Tower incorporates numerous design features that ensure its ability to function as a world-class emergency preparedness hospital, as well as a patient care-oriented facility that unites the most advanced medical technologies with a profound spirit of healing. One of the five underground floors will house all of the hospital's operating theaters while the intensive care units with protected areas will be located above ground. These new fortified areas, combined with existing space in the Judy and Sidney Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine, located next to the Tower, give Hadassah 382 beds in protected space.
The new Tower, with its distinctive East and West Pavilions, incorporates a variety of features designed to promote patient privacy, reduce the incidence of hospital infection and support better communication between patients and medical personnel. All patient rooms are either private or semi-private, with beds placed in diagonal corners. All inpatient beds are adjacent to windows and every room has been designed with zones for patient, family and caregiver. Each patient room will include the most advanced equipment and each will connect the patient's medical file to a central nurses' station with a wireless system. The building was designed by two architectural firms: Spector-Amisar, Shauer in Israel and HKS, Inc. in the United States.
The Tower is being built in an environmentally friendly manner. Prior to the start of construction, the olive and carob trees that surrounded the building site were relocated. The Tower's heating and cooling will be supplied by radiant beams, a technology that carries significant energy savings. The building incorporates natural materials and natural lighting to reduce energy consumption. It also will use diesel fuel.
Construction of the Tower is going on around the clock, six days a week.
Recognizing the importance of the tower to medical care in Jerusalem and Israel, the Israeli government has pledged $34 million to the project. This commitment represents the first time the government has ever contributed to Hadassah. To date, Hadassah has raised more than $258 million toward a goal of $318 million from private sources. An additional estimated $50 million will be required for equipment and furnishings.
In 2007, Karen Davidson and her late husband, William Davidson, on behalf of Guardian Industries Corp., the automotive and building glass supplier owned by Mr. Davidson, provided a $75 million gift--one of the largest ever made to a Jewish organization-- to Hadassah in support of the Tower. In recognition of their generosity and to honor the memory of Mr. Davidson's mother, Hadassah named the new facility the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. The Tower will be dedicated in celebration of Hadassah's Centennial anniversary in October 2012.
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold. Sarah Wetsman Davidson and her mother, Bessie Wetsman, were early supporters of both Ms. Szold and her organization.
"The power of family is truly binding and I feel privileged to be the third generation to support Hadassah's goals and achievements," William Davidson said when he announced the $75 million donation. "It is my hope that the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower will stand as an enduring tribute to my mother's love of Hadassah, Israel and the Jewish people."