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Shaare Zedek’s Australian Friends

11 August 2016

This month marks the launch of the 21st Shabbat Nachamu Appeal by the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Jerusalem.

The appeal has become a much anticipated fixture in the Melbourne communal landscape with brightly coloured billboards installed around Caulfield, brochures distributed at local synagogues as well as other promotional activities.

This year the theme of the campaign on Shabbat Nachamu is Shaare Zedek at the Forefront. Shaare Zedek is at the forefront of providing emergency care and compassion to victims of terror, of bringing new lives into the world, of medical research and innovation and of plans to expand medical services to citizens of Jerusalem.

Funds donated by the Australian community will purchase much needed equipment for the hospital’s Neurosurgery Institute. This institute will enable Shaare Zedek to treat patients with brain and spinal injuries as a result of terror attacks or car accidents. It will also offer highly specialised treatment to victims of stroke and brain tumours.

The annual Shabbat Nachamu Appeal has an auspicious history. It was inaugurated by Dr Allan Garfield in 1995. Dr Garfield established the Australian friends of Shaare Zedek in 1991 and has served as its Chairman throughout this time. For many decades prior, the late Mr Joseph Feiglin worked tirelessly to raise funds for the hospital in Jerusalem until his passing in 1988. Over the past 21 years the Australian community has contributed significant funds, by direct donations to Israel, through Wills and Bequests, Simcha donations and community appeals.

Of the organizations worldwide raising funds for the hospital, the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek is unique as it is comprised of volunteers who are committed to the hospital and who bring a range of talents and expertise to their role. They minimize operating costs by having no office or full time professional staff.

With Dr Allan Garfield as Chairman and Prof Agnes Bankier as Deputy Chair, the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek board includes Rita Broner, Helen Brustman OAM, Robert Epstein, Ruth Epstein, Sara Garfield, Dr Michael Gordon, Norbert Izsak, Adrienne Kraus, Moishe Landau, Robert Lebovits, Atida Lipshatz, Tom May and Ben Slonim OAM. Miriam Pacanowski serves as Marketing Consultant to the AFSZ.

The Australian community has a close and committed relationship with Shaare Zedek Medical Centre. There are many Australian born medicos, nurses and health care professionals training and working at Shaare Zedek. Monique Tempelhof, an Australian expat who works as a midwife at Shaare Zedek recently visited Australia and spoke at an event in support of the Hospital.

In past years, funds donated by the Australian community have helped Shaare Zedek purchase significant projects, including the Patient Tracking System in the Emergency Department. This unique system was the brainchild of Dr David Applebaum z”l in whose memory the system is dedicated.

This year, the AFSZ is asking you to please keep Shaare Zedek in the forefront of your mind and donate generously to enable this extraordinary institution to continue its crucial and lifesaving work.