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July 25, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-07-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, July 25, 1980 1

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

50 Years of Magen David Adorn Services r

TEL AVIV — Half-a
century ago, in the early
days of June, 1930 seven
men banded together in Tel
first aid
Aviv to form
society. The new society was
named Magen David Adorn,
after a military volunteer
unit that thrived briefly in
the closing months of World
War I.
It occupied the site of a
small former flower shop
and boasted an ambulance
corps consisting of exactly
ne vehicle — a Chevrolet
hassis with a locally built
body. This year Magen
David Adorn, Israel's Na-
tional Red Cross celebrates
this auspicious beginning
and a half-century of heroic
service.
The anniversary was
highlighted by a national
convention and tour to Is-
rael and Egypt in June, ac-
cording to Joseph Handle-
man, president of the
American Red Magen
David for Israel. The U.S.
group celebrates its own
40th anniversary this year.
The young MDA's most
important contribution
was made by doctors who
taught the public first
aid, disease and accident
prevention and public
hygiene. It condensed
this information in a first
aid manual written by Dr.
Arieh Aletin (today this
manual is in its 16th He-
brew edition, and other
editions in . Arabic,
French and English).

a

In following years, MDA
grew steadily. In 1933 a
Jerusalem branch was es-
tablished. A year later a
branch was founded in
Haifa. In December, 1935
the original Tel Aviv
branch built a new home
that was the first building

in Palestine designed as a
first aid station.
In the Arab riots of 1936
and 1937, Magen David
Adorn organized to aid the
casualties. MDA served as
the medical corps of the
Hagana and provided doc-
tors, stretcher bearers, first
aid medics and equipment.
It furnished threatened set-
tlements with supplies from
its Tel Aviv warehouse. The
Magen David Adorn Blood
Donors Association was
credited with saving hun-
dreds of lives.
In World War II, Magen
David Adorn again an-
swered the call. In 1940 Tel
Aviv was attacked re-
peatedly by Italian and
German aircraft. MDA set
up 14 temporary first aid
stations. In helping the
wounded, MDA volunteers
were themselves wounded
(an Italian bomb that
exploded next to MDA
headquarters killed two
children).
Accelerated courses in
first aid were organized by
MDA in all parts of the
country.
Meanwhile, male MDA
volunteers who had
enlisted in the British
army were replaced by
new recruits, mostly
young women. In Tel
Aviv the volunteer corps.
swelled to 800 members
with 20 new mobile first
aid units.
At the outset of the War of
Independence, Magen
David Adorn distributed
medical supplies and first
aid equipment to be-
leaguered settlements.
Blood banks were estab-
lished in several cities.
After the 1948 terrorist at-
tacks in Jerusalem, MDA
sprang into action, tending
the woulded and supplying

badly needed blood.
Magen David Adorn con-
stituted the medical corps of
the new Israel Defense
Forces, providing trained
orderlies, nurses and
equipment. When
Jerusalem was cut off from
the rest of the Jewish state,
MDA organized convoys to
bring medicine and food
from Tel Aviv and Haifa.
During the wars against
Israel, MDA has provided
mobile clinics for the care of
wounded prisoners of war
and sent clothing and food
to Israeli POWs in Arab
countries. It provided medi-
cal help and food to Arab
refugees in a repatriation
program that continues
today under the Family Re-

union Plan. It supplied hos-
pitals and transmitted fam-
ily messages in the ad-
ministered territories.
Today MDA has 125
branches throughout Is-
rael. The ambulance fleet
has 700 vehicles.
MDA maintains blood
banks in Tel Aviv,
Jerusalem, Haifa and
Tiberias. It supplies all the
blood for transfusions re-
quired by the Israel Defense
Forces and two-thirds of the
demand by the nation's hos-
pitals.
In addition to maintain-
ing 125 emergency ambu-
lance posts it also has 40
casualty stations and 5,000
volunteers man the ambu-
lance stations.



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Greek El Al Passenger
Is Treated by MDA Team

TEL AVIV — A
passenger on an El Al Air-
line New York - Tel
Aviv - Athens flight was
treated recently for five
hours at Ben-Gurion Air-
port for severe cardiac dis-
turbances by a special
Magen David Adorn (MDA)
mobile intensive care medi-
cal team which then accom-
panied the patient on his
flight from Tel Aviv to
Athens to continue treat-
ment.
A Greek passenger de-
veloped chest pains on the
first leg of the flight and at
the request of El Al was met
at Ben-Gurion Airport by
the special MDA team. The
man's family refused to
permit his evacuation to a
hospital and the medical
team continued to treat
him, keeping him alive for
five hours at the crowded
airport, while officials
negotiated with the family.
In order to break the im-
passe, MDA Director Gen-
eral Amizur Kfir ordered
the team to accompany the
patient on the flight to
Athens, along with all of the
necessary medical equip-

ID

4

ment. The patient arrived
in Athens in stable condi-
tion, six hours after landing
in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Profs
Join Seminary
Staff for Year

NEW YORK — Three Is-
raeli professors will join the
faculty of the Jewish
Theological Seminary of
America for the academic
year 1980-81.
Profs. Isaiah Gafni and
Yitzhak Gilat of Bar-Ilan
University and Yosef Gorni
of Tel Aviv University were
chosen by the seminary.

Saudi City
Gets University

NEW YORK — A $2.5
billion university is being
planned for the Saudi Ara-
bian city of Riyadh, accord-
ing to the American Jewish
Congress.
Construction of the uni-
versity, which is expected to
serve some 15,000 students,
will be undertaken by a
French-American consor-
tium of construction firms.

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Warning : The Surgeon General Has. Determined
That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health.

mn nicotine. ay. oer c_i_o_arette. FaL.Jort

DEC. 79

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