Soroka Medical Center
Defending Israel's Health
Winter Greetings
Dear Friends,

Hanukah at Soroka was an extraordinary affair this year, with the staff gathering to witness the emotional reunion of two young IDF soldiers who were severely wounded in Operation Protective Edge with the physicians who saved their lives. These soldiers returned to our campus on the first night of the Festival of Lights to light candles, flanked by the medical teams who worked around the clock during the 50 days of conflict this summer. Soroka has been a beacon of light to the citizens of the Negev, and especially to all of the IDF soldiers and their families and friends, as we provided life-saving trauma care to wounded soldiers as well intense mental health services through our Milstein Center for Trauma Recovery.

Our focus now is on building and preparing for the future, and the need to expand our emergency room and trauma center, already Israel’s busiest, by 30%, so that we will be as prepared as possible to provide our patients with the very best care and meet all the challenges that the future will bring us. In recent days Soroka has again received incoming wounded soldiers – a reminder that while we pray for peace we must plan to meet the needs of Israel.

Please join us in our mission to enlarge the facilities of the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care. As we enter the new year, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event.

With Our Warmest Regards, and Sincere
Appreciation for Your Support,
Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld
Executive Director
Coming up: January 18, 2015 - Debut Miami Gala

American Friends of Soroka Medical Center
Proudly invites you to our Debut Miami

Celebrating Soroka’s Heroic Care for Israel’s wounded soldiers American Friends of Soroka Medical Center is delighted to be holding our first major event in Miami, and we warmly invite you to join us at what will be a most elegant and noteworthy occasion.

Please be sure to invite all of your friends and family who will be in Miami at that time to join us at this very special event, bringing together wonderful friends to celebrate Soroka’s heroic care for Israel’s wounded sons and daughters during Operation Protective Edge.

Sunday - January 18, 2015 at 6:30 P.M.
The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building
169 E Flagler St, Miami, Florida

The evening will include a cocktail reception, formal dinner, silent auction, entertainment, and a moving and inspirational program.

Dietary Laws observed • Festive Business Attire

Honored Guests
Ambassador Ido Aharoni
Consul General of Israel in New York
Amb. Aharoni has been representing the State of Israel since 1991 in in a range of leadership roles reflecting his vast expertise in foreign affairs, policy, communications and media relations, and nation-branding methodology.
Dr. Amit Frenkel
Soroka Medical Center Senior Intensive Care Specialist
One of Israel's most acclaimed physicians and a specialist in neuro-trauma, Dr. Frenkel worked tirelessly around the clock during Operation Protective Edge, providing heroic critical care to wounded soldiers.
Honorary Co-Chairs
Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal
2014 Recipient of Stateswoman for Health Award
A champion for improving global health, Rear Admiral Blumenthal M.D. provided distinguished service for over two decades as a leading U.S. Government medical expert in the Administrations of four U.S. Presidents. She served as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States, as the first ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health and as Senior Global Health Advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Professor Deborah Lipstadt
Deborah Lipstadt is an American historian and author of the books Denying the Holocaust and The Eichmann Trial. She is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She received her BA from City College of New York and her MA and PhD from Brandeis University.
Dr. Irving & Cherna Moskowitz
Dr. & Mrs Moskowitz established the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation in 1968, with the mission to improve and enrich the lives of people regardless of race, creed, politics or religion, based on the precept, 'He who has saved one life, it is as if he has saved the world.” The work of their foundation reflects their profound devotion to strengthening Israeli society
Gala Committee
Nira & Ken Abramowitz, Dr. Amir Baron, Mario Beria & Fred Cavagnuolo, Esther & Moses Dodo, Oren Ben-Ezra, Maxie Ezratti, Julie & Martin Franklin, Roselyne & Michael Freeman, Caroline & Shlomo Freidfertig, Jacqueline & John Grossman, Karina Gutierrez, Yaniv Levi, Helene & Martin Lindenfeld, Jennifer & Daniel Naim, Galina Novikova, Florina Reznik, Raz Samuel, Gabrielle Sheinfeld, Orna & Benny Simkai, Meryl & David Spigelman, Ruth & Jeffrey Steinberg, Rafael Yaniz
American Friends of Soroka Medical Center
Ken Abramowitz, President
Caroline Freidfertig, Secretary
Ruth Steinberg, Treasurer
For more information please contact, or
Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld at, or call 914-725-9070
What it means to be a “hospital under fire”:
In the line of fire from missiles from Gaza
Must relocate the patients not in “protected” units, particularly the babies of the NeoNatal intensive care unit, to a sheltered, safe location
Relentless flows of incoming wounded, with helicopters landing around the clock
Staff must function at highest levels of intensity, setting aside personal worries about their own family. When helicopters land it is natural to fear that one of the wounded soldiers arriving for treatment might be their own child
Providing shelter, day-care and activities for the children of our staff, so that they could arrive at work each day during confident that their families were safe
Continuing to provide necessary medical care to the 1 million residents of the Negev
Operate with fewer staff then usual, as colleagues may have been called up for reserve duty

Dr. Ehud Davidson

At a special ceremony last month, Ehud Davidson, the Soroka Director General, honored fifty-nine Soroka Medical Center employees, among them 35 physicians, were called up for reserve army duty during Operation Protective Edge. These employees work in diverse fields, including: anesthesiology, surgery, orthopedics, radiology, logistics, social work, and physiotherapy.

Guy Lev, Human Resources Director at Soroka Medical Center: “Soroka employees treated many of the injured from Operation Protective Edge, having come to work in the midst of rocket fire on Beersheva and their home communities. As if that was not enough, many of them also contributed to the war effort in active army service as drafted reserve soldiers. They certainly are most deserving of our sincere appreciation and admiration”.

Candle Lighting Ceremony

Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony on first night of Hanukkah at Soroka Medical Center with soldiers who were wounded in Operation Protective Edge

Dr. Moti Klein, Head of ICU, Prof. Dan Kaplan, Director of Otolaryngology, Corporal Ran Abitboul, First Lieutenant Amos, Dr Ehud Davidson, Soroka Medical Center Director

At a very moving candle lighting ceremony held at Soroka Medical Center, Corporal Ran Abitboul and First Lieutenant Amos, soldiers who were seriously wounded in Operation Protective Edge and treated at Soroka, met with the staff that saved their lives.w During Operation Protective Edge, hundreds of soldiers wounded in the fighting in the Gaza Strip were treated at Soroka Medical Center. While IDF soldiers were fighting for us in Gaza, the staff at Soroka Medical Center was fighting to save them - in the emergency room, trauma room, operating rooms, intensive care unit and inpatient departments.

On July 19, the third day of the ground operation in Gaza, First Lieutenant Amos, Deputy G3 in the 401st Division of the Armored Corps, was with his unit on the outskirts of Rafah, searching for terror tunnels. While in action, his tank was a hit by a missile. Amos sustained serious injuries from shrapnel in the head, arm and eye. He was evacuated by helicopter to Soroka, and was rushed from the trauma room to the operating room in serious condition.

Amos underwent head surgery and was then hospitalized. He was ventilated and sedated in the general Intensive Care Unit. He later underwent additional surgeries and was treated by orthopedists, ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons. Among other things, he underwent complex surgery to remove shrapnel from the eyeball and surgery to treat an open fracture in his hand.

After regaining consciousness and being weaned off the ventilator, he was transferred to the Surgery Department. Following a two-week stay at Soroka, he was relocated to a rehabilitation center.

Corporal Ran Abitboul (19) from Migdal Haemek, a combat soldier from Golani’s Battalion 13, was wounded on the first day of the ground operation in Gaza. Corporal Abitboul was in a home on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip, when a bullet hit the right side of his face. The bullet, which exited through his neck, caused serious injury to his eye socket, cheek, jaw, ear and nerves and even caused a brain hemorrhage. He was taken to Soroka in serious condition and was rushed to the operating room to stop the bleeding.

He later underwent additional surgery that used a special technique to reconstruct the injured side of his face. The surgery, which took ten hours, was performed by a multidisciplinary team that included Dr. Danny Kaplan, Director of the Department of Otolaryngology, Dr. Navot Givol, Director of the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, Dr. Alex Berezovsky, Director of the Department of Plastic Surgery and the nursing staff of the operating room.

Soroka Fundraiser in Los Angeles

Moti Klein, M.D.
photo Nurit Greenger

August 17 - As Operation Protective Edge thrust Soroka in the spotlight last summer, friends of Soroka from around the world stepped forward to help us. One of those was Avi Kadmon, an Israeli living in Los Angeles, who took it upon himself to plan an Emergency Fundraiser. Avi leveraged his impressive personal contacts and energy to fill the hall with a wonderful group of new friends, and helped us raise funds that were immediately deployed at Soroka to purchase emergency equipment. Congratulation to Avi for organizing this splendid and successful evening.

Another of these friends was Jon Voight, who though extremely busy filming Ray Donovan, his award winning TV show, came out to speak to the assembled guests in Los Angeles. In Jon’s own words, helping Soroka is one of the most important things in the world to him, as he has viewed with his own eyes the profoundly moving care that is provided there on a daily basis, and how our physicians treat all humanity without any hesitation, no matter what their religion or ethnic background, all while under fire themselves.

At the event, Mr. Voight had an emotional reunion with Dr. Moti Klein, who he had met before while visiting wounded soldiers at Soroka in 2012. Please read below for insight into some the evenings emotional highlights.

Soroka on the Front Line of a Just Cause

Excerpted From The Times Of Israel, By Nurit Greenger

Avi Kadmon is a man of good intention and action. While Operation Protective Edge War was in its full foray, one morning he opened his eyes and knew he had to do something. The best idea that came to mind was to help the Soroka Medical Center to where all the injured Israeli soldiers were first brought for initial treatment.

Moti Klein M.D., for the past 12 years, the Director General of Soroka Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The present 16 station ICU is new, only 7 months old, equipped with the state-of-the-art medical equipment. Each room can be converted, immediately and as necessary, into an operating room.

Jon Voight
photo Orly Halevy

Dana Erlich is the Consul for Culture, Media and Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles attended. On behalf of the entire consulate staff, she thanked Soroka and its staff for their dedication and hard work for Israel’s just cause, and she thanked the supportive audience who attended the event.

Actor Jon Voight, the Academy Award winner and unabashed, staunch supporter of the State of Israel, made a surprise appearance. He took the opportunity to explain why he admires and supports Israel, a respect he first learned from his father, and why he will do whatever is in his power to help the Jewish state. When trying to explain why Israel is having to fight for its survival, “Israel is there to teach us all how to get back to moral structure.

The Soroka ICU multidisciplinary dedicated staff is considered among the best in Israel, recognized for training ICU specialists.

Originally from nearby Haifa, Dr. Klein graduated Soroka medical school. He served as a medical officer in the IDF Medical Corps, specialized in internal medicine and did his fellowship in Canada. During the current war the hospital treated over 1,200 cases, of which were 775 soldiers. Dr. Klein’s unit received 30 soldiers in mortal condition. At the same time when the hospital heliport was busy, when helicopters were landing, bringing in the wounded hospital’s procedures went on as usual and mothers gave birth to new babies under fire.

There were challenges to face. The war situation is always unpredictable. As the rockets were being fired from Gaza, the hospital had to move prematurely born babies, who could not run for cover, from an unsafe to a safer location. Same with the geriatric ward where the old are bedridden and immobile.

Dr. Klein described the Hospital’s situation: “Let me take you to that day, last month, when missiles began to fly over Israel. Our staff looked at each other, they did not have to say a word to understand that we also live in the places being attacked. We also have children serving in the IDF that would be called and go into Gaza. We also have friends who lost sons in the past.

As soon as a name was given to what was happening, ‘Operation Protective Edge,’ we knew we were dealing with more than a ‘normal’ exchange of fire and with unbearable tension and we counted the minutes until the first injured would arrive… Good communication allowed us to know when soldiers were wounded, the type and the severity of the injury, and when the helicopter succeeded in reaching them. We knew that as precious time passed, and the helicopter did not succeed reaching the wounded and bleeding, the chances of bringing him alive – 9 minutes flying time to Soroka heliport – were becoming slimmer…”

L-Moti Klein, M.D., Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld, Actor Jon Voight, Singer Tamara Gabriel, Avi Kadmon - photo Orly Halevy

Avi organized the fundraising event at The Mark Events Hall in Los Angeles; Rachel flew in from New York to attend and help; Dr. Klein came especially from Israel to tell the audience, first hand, about Soroka and some stories from his ICU wing, relating to the war; Dana thanked Soroka on behalf of the State of Israel and Jon Voight explained, with deep pride, why he stands for and supports Israel in any which way he can. Singer Tamara Gabriel sang the anthems and entertained the audience with her lovely voice.

This was an awareness and fundraising event. There is an immediate need to upgrade Soroka hospital’s equipment and acquire the newest technologies that will save precious seconds in critical trauma cases, particularly urgent during war. For instance, they need a mobile scanner, new emergency equipment and a new neonatal intensive care ward.

Soroka, headed by Dr. Ehud Davidson, General Director of Soroka Medical Center, is the sole major medical center for Israel’s entire southern front, playing a leading role during the ongoing military operations with Gaza.

Each time the war with Gaza flares, Soroka steps up to treat the wounded, while, as we have seen recently, the hospital is under rocket fire.

There is a saying among the soldiers who are protecting Israel, the entire Jewish Nation and indirectly the entire free world: “I carry the entire army on my back and I carry the entire [Jewish] Nation of Israel in my heart.” Soldiers arrived to Soroka, received treatment and asked to return to their unit. Camaraderie among the IDF Corps is exceptional, the IDF is an exceptional military force, it is the army of the people. Israel’s hospitals are exceptional too.

June 16 Gala in NYC

American Friends of Soroka Medical Center
PO Box 184-H | Scarsdale, NY 10583 | (914) 725-9070
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