Creating an Exceptional Bar Mitzvah Experience

Friday, Sep 6 2019

Thirty members of the Moises Jafif family from Mexico, along with their friends, came to Israel to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Jak Jafif at the Kotel (the western wall of the ancient Temple Mount). To add to the emotional impact of the experience, they all decided to visit Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on Tisha B'Av (September 11th), the day which commemorates the destruction of the ancient Jewish temples, and the day before the actual Bar Mitzvah.

The family was welcomed by Hadassah International Associate Director, Jorge Diener, at the entrance to the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, and everyone walked together to the Moshe Saba Masri Synagogue, where Director of Hadassah Ein Kerem, Prof. Yoram Weiss, was waiting to greet them and tell them a little about the hospital and what they would be seeing during their visit.

The adults were then taken to see the new Irma and Paul Milstein Heart Center (Cardiology Department) in the Davidson Tower, where Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Center, showed them around the new facilities, including the catheterization laboratories. The visitors had the opportunity to hear from Prof. Haim Danenberg and Dr. David Planer, who spoke about some unusual cases they were working on. Dr. Planer is a senior interventional cardiologist at the Hadassah Medical Organization, who has played a key role in developing a new exploratory method of treating aortic arch aneurysms, a life-threatening condition with limited therapeutic options.

Their visit continued with a tour of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which has been the recipient of donations from the Mexican community.

While the parents were visiting the Cardiology Department and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the younger members of the group prepared drawings for the children being treated in the Pediatric Department on the third floor of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child building. Besides the drawings and good wishes for a full recovery, the Jafif children handed over the toys they had brought with them for the hospitalized children and saw for themselves how important it is to bring a little joy into the lives of sick children.

The adults and children then reunited in the Heritage Center and had the opportunity to learn about the history of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA) and the Hadassah Medical Organization. There they met Dvir Mussai. Dvir’s story is one of Hadassah’s miracles. At the age of 13, Dvir stepped on a mine, which exploded, causing serious injuries. Since then, Dvir has had over 35 surgeries at Hadassah. Today he is married and has children. (Read more about Dvir at http://hadassahinternational.org/dvirs-story/)

Mr. Diener then congratulated Jak Jafif on his Bar Mitzvah and explained the importance of visiting Hadassah Hospital, especially on Tisha B'Av and while on a Bar Mitzvah trip to the Holly Land. He presented a special Bar Mitzvah Certificate to Jak from Hadassah Hospital, along with a history book about the Hadassah Medical Organization.

The visitors concluded this special visit in the beautiful Abbell Synagogue, renowned for its Chagall stained glass windows, understanding that they each have the power to heal our world by taking action, bringing hope, and making an impact. 

See Teaching the Value and Joy of Giving.

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