April 2022
Spring Greetings & Passover Appeal
Dear Friends,

Warm Spring Greetings and best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, with the blessings of good health and personal fulfillment. As we approach Passover we pray as always for peace and for freedom from terror, disease and wars. We also celebrate the abundant achievements of Soroka, and appreciation for all they do to serve the healthcare needs of the Negev, Israel, and our global society.

Currently Soroka physicians are leading Israel’s Field Hospital in Ukraine. We could not be prouder.

We give thanks to all of our supporters for their contributions, encouragement and passion for helping Soroka. We rejoice in the diversity and commitment of our supporters, unified by the common goal to strengthen and support one of Israel’s most vital institutions. We could not accomplish what we do without your support.

If you would like to visit Israel this summer – please contact us to join our July 7 mission. This mission includes a remarkable event – the dedication of Israel’s newest cultural landmark – the History of the Star of David @ Soroka artwork.
the History of the Star of David
For those traveling on their own we invite you to visit Soroka in Be’er Sheva. It is extraordinarily moving and uplifting to witness first-hand the care, scale, energy and diversity that is evident in every corner of our campus, including staff, students and patients.

Looking ahead, save the date for the Soroka Gala events – October 25 in New York City and December 8 in Miami. These are our most important annual fundraisers where we pay tribute to extraordinary leaders. Details to be announced soon.

During the past two years we have faced complex challenges. It is clear that medical innovation is a core value that secures our future. Supporting Soroka and our clinical research programs is a most meaningful way to support Israel today, and help Soroka continue to save lives in Israel and around the world. As you allocate funds for Maot Chitim, the traditional Passover charity, and your charitable giving for the remainder of the year, we hope you will be inspired by the remarkable work being done at Soroka, and help us achieve our lifesaving mission.

Caroline Franklin Freidfertig
President of the Board
Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld
Executive Director

We are honored to welcome 2 extraordinary individuals to the American Friends of Soroka Board of Directors
Pedro Lichtinger
Pedro Lichtinger is Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Starton Therapeutics, dedicated to improving and extending the lives of cancer patients by unlocking the full potential of approved drugs with an innovative delivery model. He founded Starton after a 28 year career as a Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology senior executive, first at Smith Kline & French, Smith Kline Beecham and the last 12 years at Pfizer Inc, where his final role was as President of Global Primary Care.
Dvora Fields
Dvora is an Israeli-American, an educator and vibrant proponent of everything Israel. With a strong background in philanthropic leadership, media and education, she also serves on the board of the Jewish Broadcasting Service.

Soroka's Neonatal Care Center: A Miracle in the Negev
Israel's Soroka Medical Center's leadership in medical and scientific research and successes in fostering innovation in the service of saving lives, shines for the world as a beacon of peaceful coexistence, healing and hope. As the sole major medical center for the Negev region, Soroka cares for over 1.2 million people and 400,000 children residing in the Negev ever-ready to provide emergency care, and excellent service with cutting-edge medical technology to anyone in need.
As Israel’s busiest Neonatal Department, The Soroka Neonatal Care Center consistently delivers the most remarkable outcomes for the most fragile newborns. Over 17,000 babies are born per annum at Soroka, and more than 2,500 of these newborns require specialized medical and surgical care. In November 2021, Soroka broke ground on three new buildings - a new and protected maternity ward, a rehabilitation center and a research building.

The new Neonatal Care Center will upgrade, expand, and protect the entire range of neonatal services to provide state-of-the-art, family-centered, life-saving neonatal care to our tiniest patients. Thanks to generous donors around the world and Clalit, Soroka continues to be Israel’s leading medical provider.

Dr. Elon Shani, Director of Neonatology, reflects "The NICU in Soroka has served us so well for many years, yet there was an increasingly urgent need to expand and protect the facility.

The Neonatal Care Center ground-breaking symbolizes the launch of a new era, with the creation of a state-of-the-art department for a new generation of children, featuring innovative and advanced technologies. The new department, planned with much thought and love, will expertly serve the 17,000+ babies born every year in the Negev, representing the future of the State of Israel.
The expanded, missile protected New Neonatal Care Center will allow Soroka’s professional medical staff to provide the best care possible for the most vulnerable infants and their families. Meet Talia Edri, a one year old, born in December 2020 at the Saban Midwives Center in Soroka. Talia was born by emergency surgery weighing a mere 900 grams (1.9 pounds). One year later, she returns to Soroka to celebrate her first birthday with her “angels”. “This place saved our girl,” Talia’s mother says excitedly. “While in the hospital, we went through quite a few ups and downs, and Dr. Kayla and the entire NICU team wrapped us and took care of us. Thanks to them, and thanks to our heroes, Talia, today is developing beautifully, crawling and sitting. The staff here are like family to us and that's why we came here to celebrate and say thank you for the miracle that happened to us". To learn more about naming opportunities contact Pazit Levitan, Director of Development, at 914-725-9070.

Two Israeli Legacies Coming Together: PADANI x SOROKA
The Padani legacy began in 1897 when it was established by a renowned family of Belgian diamond merchants. The daughter of the family, Malvene, married a young jeweler by the name of Henri (Uri) Padani. Together they built a reputation in the diamond industry, by virtue of the outstanding quality of their craftsmanship. At the end of the Second World War, the Padani family immigrated to Israel. Despite the economic hardships facing the fledgling nation, and against all odds, in 1950, Uri Padani managed to realize his vision, creating a studio for jewelry design in Tel Aviv. Starting an innovative luxury business in keeping with the highest of European standards was a considerable risk, which required great courage. Henri's courage paid off – the first Padani store opened in 1962, at the very first Sheraton hotel built in Tel-Aviv. Shortly after the Six Day War, a second store was inaugurated, adjacent to the Jaffa gate in Jerusalem. It was the first Jewish owned store opened in the old city.
Padani is an Israeli milestone: an inspiring success story and one of the very few Israeli brands still operative and evolving since the 1950’s. Similar to Soroka Medical Center, founded in 1947 with hospital capacity of fifty beds, which soon grew to be Israel’s leading medical institution caring for over 1.2 million people with over 1,151 beds.

Padani radiates elegance, luxury and prestige while preserving Israel's Jewish heritage through spectacular jewels that capture heartfelt moments. Ever grateful to the generosity and unity of our people that made it all possible, Soroka and Padani look forward to meaningful collaboration that will resonate with our Soroka family.

Soroka Friends Legacy Society
With the support of donors, like yourselves, Soroka has become a cutting-edge, world class medical institution, the pride of Israel. You are as much a part of the Soroka family as the doctors and nurses who roam the hallways. Just like it is really hard to thank them for all the hard work they do, it is also extremely difficult to find the words to thank the many who support Soroka so generously. Your involvement impacts many lives each and every day.
American Friends of Soroka Medical Center is happy to now offer the AFS Legacy Society, honoring and celebrating planned giving contributions to the current and future generation associated with Soroka Medical Center for the health and wellness of the people of the Negev. When you give a planned gift to AFS, you are linking your family’s name in perpetuity with our mission and the bright future of Israel. For more information about your family legacy opportunities and planned giving, call Director of Development, Pazit Levitan at 914-725-9070 or email at

Emergency Care: Soroka Continues to Lead
According to the Ministry of Health's Patient Satisfaction Survey for 2021, Soroka's Center for Urgent Care, the largest and most active in Israel, continues to excel. Soroka breaks records with the shortest average treatment time among major hospitals and uses cutting-edge equipment and care, ranking second among top centers in Israel.

Dr. Shlomi Codish, Director of Soroka Medical Center: “The staff of the Urgent Care Center has been able to lead with excellent medical quality and service to our patients for many years now.”
Soroka shines in providing a comfortable experience to patients, by preparing wonderful living accommodations, continually explaining procedures to patients so that they feel confident in their treatment, and treating the patients with the utmost respect and attentive care.

During their stay, patients undergo various diagnostic tests, like laboratory tests, imaging tests and consultations with doctors from various fields. Many processes are implemented to streamline and improve service. In the initial stage, the priority of treatment is determined and a diagnosis is made, immediately assigning each patient to the appropriate doctor. Also, SMS messages are used to regularly update the patient on diagnostic, test results and more during their stay.

Dr. Dan Schwarzfox, Deputy Director of Soroka Medical Center and Director of Internal Medicine: "The impressive and ongoing achievement of the Soroka Medical Center belongs to its treating staff, who work tirelessly ... There is no doubt that the staff proves, every day, that it is possible to provide leading and advanced medical services while also maintaining the quality of service, and creating a positive patient experience."

Innovation Prevails at Soroka
Soroka Medical Center signed an agreement with HIT - Holon Institute of Technology. As part of the collaboration, Soroka’s teams will work with students and faculty from the Institute of Technology on joint projects in the world of medical innovation – combining the clinical knowledge, experience and expertise of Soroka personnel with the Data and Innovation capabilities of HIT personnel in computer and information systems.
Physician in the Department of Intensive Care and Director of Innovation at Soroka: “We are in an era of tremendous momentum in the field of innovation. The hospital collaborates with a wide range of entities, including defense industries, academic institutions, and start-up companies. In collaboration with these bodies, we germinate ideas and bring them to development, with the overarching goal of advancing the world of medicine and improving medical care for our patients. The collaboration with the Holon Institute of Technology will surely bear fruit in the foreseeable future."

Dr. Rafael Barak Barkan Vice President of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and International HIT - Holon Institute of Technology: "Holon Institute of Technology sees great importance in the cooperation agreement with Soroka, one of the largest and leading medical centers in the country, in view of the unique and innovative academic program in digital medicine at HIT. With an emphasis on information technology with a technological-digital nuance, HIT graduates will be able to continue to the 4-year programs for a doctorate in medicine. The program prepares graduates for careers as Medical Information analysts with solid capabilities in information and AI technologies in the biomedical content world in the thriving MedTech industry. We consider Soroka a natural and leading partner in these two goals, in addition to the research and development activities carried out at HIT for several years in fruitful collaboration with Clalit Health Services. " Dr. Shlomi Codish, Director of Soroka Medical Center, reflects: "As the leading medical center in Israel and the only major medical center in the Negev and southern region, we embrace leadership in the field of medical innovation as a core value. Our medical leadership is reflected in active and multi-disciplinary research and dedicated employees, along with collaborations with the community around us. Medical entrepreneurship and exposure to the existing High-tech and IDF ecosystems here in Soroka and the south as well as throughout Israel and around the world are an important component in creating an institutional culture of health innovation."

The world of medicine is constantly searching for technologies and solutions to improve and expand services for the benefit of patients. Soroka combines knowledge and experience, comprehensive data, rich research, an environment that allows for clinical validation, and an entrepreneurial, pioneering spirit to better care for its patients.

Soroka’s Emergency Response to Ukraine
Soroka stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and in the face of human suffering, Soroka Medical Center is committed to assisting Ukrainian hospitals and citizens. Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest HMO, is coordinating with the State of Israel, Mashav and Sheba to provide on-site medical care to serve the people of Ukraine. Soroka doctors are currently on-site in Ukraine, as well as providing medical consulting in the areas of trauma, surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesia, intensive care and additional fields as needed.
The "Kohav Meir" (Shining Star) hospital, named after Golda Meir, began operations on March 22nd. The field hospital is divided into several divisions, including a children’s ward, a maternity ward and delivery room, an emergency ward, a primary care clinic, an outpatient clinic, and a command center. "I am proud to represent Soroka Medical Center in this important and life-saving mission," says Prof. Bresky, "For about two years we have fought a global pandemic together and now it's time to help in another war."Soroka’s experience in treating fire trauma victims, receiving wounded soldiers from the frontlines and providing routine care to residents of the south will provide a guiding hand to Ukrainian medical units.

Upcoming Events
• AIFL Webinar with Dr. Gideon - May 22, 2022
• Mission to Israel July 7, 2022
• Mets Game - August 14, 2022
• NYC Gala - October 25, 2022
• Miami Gala - December 8, 2022

Join Our Mission To Israel! - July 7 - 14, 2022

Treat yourself for a trip of a lifetime! Our extraordinary visit to Israel features exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences in a small group of Soroka supporters. Explore Israel from North to South in a deluxe bus and enjoy beautifully curated, expertly guided tours. Immerse yourself in Israel's outstanding cultural, historic, spiritual and culinary scenes!

Cost includes 5-star hotel accommodations, all meals; tailored guidance with a private bus transportation; entrance to destinations; entertainment and guest speakers.

This trip will be perfect for a seasoned Israel traveler as well as for a first time visit.

Please contact us for additional information and costs.

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