Hadassah International (HI) brought together donors and supporters from three continents for an electrifying evening that raised nine million dollars for the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), earmarked for the much-needed new Rehabilitation Center at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus. The gala, held on December 2nd in the spectacular Miami, Fla., residence of Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein, was HI’s first fundraising event in Miami.
The facility, featuring state-of-the-art equipment such as the Lokomat, Israel’s most sophisticated robotic treadmill gait therapy machine, and healing water therapy pools, will provide cutting-edge rehabilitation for members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Jerusalem’s rapidly-growing population.
The evening’s co-host Lindsay Schottenstein set the tone for the evening by quoting from the Psalms of David: “’The stone that the builders rejected because it was damaged became a cornerstone.’ Thanks to Hadassah’s Rehabilitation Unit at Mount Scopus, the broken men and women of the IDF will become the cornerstones of new and productive lives.”
Former IDF Navy Seal Nir Caspi spoke about being badly injured during a special operation in Lebanon and then transferred to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. Caspi galvanized the audience with his life-changing moment. “When you arrive at Hadassah Hospital hanging between life and death,” he said, “you are dependent on the immediate and crucial response of the medical trauma team. Once you open your eyes and you realize that you are not the same person, not able to move or have lost an arm or a leg, a successful rehabilitation becomes your lifeline and only hope. Hadassah gave me hope and the recovery I needed to return to active service and enjoy a busy, engaged life.” Today, Caspi is a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Café Landwehr, a chain of coffeehouses in Israel.
Award-winning Israeli actor Tomer Kapun from the wildly popular Israeli TV series Fauda provided thrilling testimony about his own experience as a paratrooper in the IDF.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion heartily thanked the audience for attending, stating, “This rehabilitation center will serve the residents of Jerusalem, regardless of religion, race or gender, a population of over one million people. I am proud of the work in healthcare and the spreading of Zionism by Hadassah.”
Former Knesset Speaker and Chair of HI Israel Dalia Itzik enthused, “I am proud to be a partner in the establishment of this lifesaving center, one of the most impactful and vital institutions in Jerusalem, a rehabilitation center for all Israelis, as well as IDF soldiers. In the near future, anyone who needs the best medical care in the world will be able to receive it in Jerusalem.” Itzik also thanked Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein and Nily Falic, chairman emeritus of the Friends of the IDF for their support of the evening.
Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus Director Dr. Tamar Elram proudly proclaimed, “This unprecedented event serves as the launch of the exciting campaign to raise funds for our new, expanded rehabilitation center. This is the first of many steps towards the extension and renewal of the historic Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus campus, committed to serving the population of Jerusalem and providing the excellent healthcare its people deserve.”
HMO Director General Zeev Rotstein profusely commended participants for opening their hearts and wallets and becoming true partners of Hadassah. “You are ensuring that the residents of Jerusalem and its surrounding areas will receive the highest quality and most-advanced rehabilitative care. This new Rehabilitation Center at Mt. Scopus embodies HMO’s mission to use medicine as a bridge of healing, unity, and peace.”
Rafael Zaga, HI Board Director, enthusiastically exclaimed, “Tonight, the Latin American delegation of Hadassah International and I witnessed the magnificent heart and soul of Hadassah and its amazing ability to use healing to transform the world.”
Ellen Hershkin, president, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., (HWZOA) and chairman of the board of HI, celebrated the extraordinary achievements of the evening. “Tonight,” she said, “we are proud to show that HWZOA and HI, by working together, have the power to heal our world. Thanks to our many generous donors from Israel, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. HMO’s ground-breaking medical research and treatment have had a worldwide impact over the past several decades. As we forge ahead in the 21st century, the global partnership of HWZOA, HI, and HMO will work closely to continue its mission to provide for the health, safety, and well-being of the land and people of Israel.”