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Florida Jewish community donates ambulance to Hebron

Just one MDA ambulance saves an average of 10,000 to 15,000 lives during the time that it operates.

From left: Yishai Fleisher, international spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron; Ido Rosenblatt, chief information officer for Magen David Adom; donors Larry and Millie Magid; Paul Kruss, Aventura City Commissioner; and entrepreneur Marian Kruss at an event in Aventura, Fla., to donate an ambulance to Magen David Adon, Nov. 20, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of MDA.
From left: Yishai Fleisher, international spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron; Ido Rosenblatt, chief information officer for Magen David Adom; donors Larry and Millie Magid; Paul Kruss, Aventura City Commissioner; and entrepreneur Marian Kruss at an event in Aventura, Fla., to donate an ambulance to Magen David Adon, Nov. 20, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of MDA.

A special event was held in Aventura, Fla., on Nov. 20 to celebrate Larry and Millie Magid’s gift of a brand-new Magen David Adom ambulance for the Jewish Community in Hebron. It was made in honor of the Magid’s children and grandchildren with the dedication on the side of the vehicle reading: “May God bless and protect the Jews of Hebron, the Tomb of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs and the State of Israel.”

“Larry and Millie do everything from the heart. They have a passion for the Jewish people and value saving lives. Larry even went out on an ambulance shift with MDA when he was in Israel. They understood before the war that MDA is Israel, and that is why they donated this lifesaving ambulance,” said Jessica Nessim, Southeast major gifts director for MDA.

Just one MDA ambulance saves an average of 10,000 to 15,000 lives in the time it operates, creating ripples of positive benefits for generations through the lives touched by a loved one coming home safe and healthy.

Among the speakers was Yishai Fleisher, international spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Hebron; Ido Rosenblatt, chief information officer for Magen David Adom; and Dr. Charles Asher Small, executive director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy.

Fleisher spoke to the audience about the need for a new ambulance as Hebron is an hour’s drive away from the two closest cities with a hospital, Jerusalem and Beersheva.

Hebron Ambulance From Florida Dedication With Larry and Millie Magid
Larry and Millie Magid with the ambulance they donated to Magen David Adom for use in Israel, Nov. 20, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of MDA.

Paul Kruss, the City Commissioner for Aventura, spoke about recent actions taken to support Israel through local government, such as a recently signed pro-Israel resolution and the purchase of thousands of dollars worth of Israel bonds. He has been a tireless advocate for Israel in both English and Spanish across the media landscape from Florida to national and global outlets.

Small came in to speak about the worrisome growth of jihadism on campus, detailing the large amounts of documented findings that radical fundamentalist groups have been sending to American college campuses in an effort to sway students against Israel. He explained that “the solution for us is to listen to each other. All Jewish organizations need to come together. We need to find a solution for this insanity and not tolerate it.”

Rosenblatt’s remarks highlighted the fact that everyone in Israel was personally connected to a loved one in peril on Oct. 7. As he was hard at work that day, he tried to call the phone of a relative who lives in the area under attack, only to have it answered by a stranger speaking with an Arabic accent before the line went dead. Without any way to help his family member, Rosenblatt focused on his work of saving as many lives as possible.

Magen David Adom paramedic Sharon Temis described the challenges of her job and her personal experiences during the Oct. 7 attacks. In addition to her explanation of the critical need to have an ambulance on the scene, she discussed the key role of dispatchers. Sharon was on the line for hours with a 15-year-old boy stuck in terrifying circumstances.

The event ended with Mike Driquez, deputy consul general of Israel in Florida, who offered a special prayer for soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and led the audience in the singing of Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.”

The attendees then went outside to cut the ribbon for the new ambulance to be delivered to Israel.

Fleisher said: “Please give the ambulance a kiss and give it, like at the Kotel, a little prayer that everybody who is in that ambulance is going to stay healthy and well, and that it is only used for baby births and good things.”

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In the United States, disaster relief, ambulance and blood services are handled by an array of organizations. In Israel, there’s one organization that does it all: Magen David Adom. Although MDA’s role is mandated by the Israeli government, it’s not a government agency. As Israel’s official representative to the International Red Cross, MDA’s role precludes it from accepting governmental support for its general operations. Because of this arrangement, the agency relies on support from donors, including those from the United States, to keep its dispatch systems, training and equipment the best in the world.
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