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September 26, 2003 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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1 1 )1 1 "1 °T1


Israel's Lifeblood


from the river to the sea" choose to ignore this reality, and
nce more, we came together to break bread and
those who are sympathetic still don't always grasp the depth
raise money for Israel's emergency medical, blood
of the horror.
and rescue service. It's a noble cause with urgent
"In the comfort of Ann Arbor," she said, "they do not
know what it's like."
For 73 years, Magen David Adorn (MDA) has been a
source of strength and a beacon of hope in the Jewish
She understands the impact of visiting Israel, the battle-
front for Mideast peace.
It's especially important as Israel struggles for normalcy,
"There is something about being in Israel, learning about
hopes for peace and fights for survival. Nearly 36 months of
its history and politics," she said, "that makes everything
much more real and heightens its importance."
Palestinian-led terror has made the wail of the yellow and
white MDA ambulance too familiar, though essential to
Israeli life. The violence has killed 870 peo-
Points To Ponder
ple and wounded at least 5,000.
When the caravan ended, Woll toured MDA blood centers
Once a hot tourist spot and high-tech
in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
leader, Israel is convulsed by terror and
The Jerusalem visit came Aug. 19. That night, a suicide
tragedy foisted upon it by a Palestinian cul-
bomber at Cafe Hillel killed seven Israelis and injured more
ture that teaches its youth to die as martyrs
than 50. Some of the MDA staff that Woll spoke with
for Allah by turning into human bombs
would later be shown on American TV helping treat sur-
and blowing up Jews.
vivors and claim bodies.
We gathered Sunday at Adat Shalom
"That night made me realize the importance of Magen
ROBERT A. Synagogue in Farmington Hills for the 36th
David Adorn even more than before," Woll said.
annual dinner of the Dr. John J. Mames
MDA dates back to the defense agency Haganah. Today,
Chapter of the American Red Magen David
it supplies all of the blood required by the Israeli army and
for Israel-Michigan Region. The guest list
nearly all needed by Israel hospitals. Its 550 ambulances
of 375 paid $90 each; gross proceeds topped $33,000.
1,000 runs a day, everything from disasters to high-
In the invocation, Rabbi David Kahn of
risk infant emergencies. Donations cover
Yeshivas Darchei Torah in Southfield said
operational costs. Ambulances range in
what everybody was thinking. He begged God
from $60,000 to $75,000.
"for an end to the ever-increasing numbers of
also visited the MDA National Blood
widows, orphans and maimed among our
Bank Center in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.
brothers and sisters."
The smallpox vaccine produced there in
The chapter is named after the late husband
anticipation of a biological warfare attack is a
of President Eva Mames of Bloomfield Hills.
byproduct of MDA research. What Woll
The Mames, both Holocaust survivors,
there — "the necessity of being self-
founded the chapter. Her leadership has yield-
in both blood and technology, and
ed bulletproof vests, ambulances, paramedic
important to have our support
scholarships and other medical equipment for
in order to do this" — should linger with
MDA. Her tireless efficiency means operating Mickey and Nata lie Stern
each of us.
costs of just 2-3 percent.
Judith Grant Granader, who chaired the dinner, read a let-
ter from her brother, Dr. Gil Grant, who lives three blocks
Coming To Grips
from Cafe Hillel. He told it like it is in response to the
Speakers included Samantha Woll, 20, a University of
bombing there.
Michigan junior from West Bloomfield. She spent part of
"If only they used a fraction of their creative energies on
August in Israel absorbing its culture. I was struck by her
efforts at improving their lot rather than on devising new
eloquent account of the two weeks she spent on a caravan
and better ways to kill Jews," he wrote, "imagine how much
that taught pro-Israel students from the U. S. how to con-
better the state of affairs of the Palestinian Arabs would be."
front anti-Zionism on campus. Caravan
Debbie and Mickey Stern of Orchard Lake, two giants of
sponsors were Media Watch International,
generosity and good will, received MDA's Distinguished
the Jewish National Fund and Hadassah.
Humanitarian Service Award at the dinner. Daughters
"Imagine playing the game 'spot the ter-
Michelle and Natalie told how "our parents have instilled
rorist on the bus' every time you step onto
within us a passion for giving to others, a commitment to
a bus to go to work or school, or to visit
tzedekah and a pride for our heritage and culture."
family or friends." Woll said.
The Sterns donated a mobile intensive cardiac care unit in
"Imagine examining the placement of
memory of their parents.
the tables every time you step into a restau-
It was a treat to see chapter stalwarts Natalie and Manny
rant. Do you sit near the glass and die
Charach honored again. Over 26 years, the Bloomfield Hills
quickly, or do you sit in the back, praying for
couple have given a record 28 ambulances to MDA.
the chance of survival, but thinking of a
Dinner proceeds will go toward a room in the Sterns'
close friend who did that and was paralyzed for the rest of
honor at the Natalie and Manny Charach MDA Emergency
his life?
Medical Center in Ashdod, on Israel's southern coast.
"Imagine these scenarios taking place every morning,
In his thank-you message, Mickey beautifully captured
afternoon and night. Imagine this as your reality, as normal.
the essence of Israel's call: "There is a passion and intensity
This horrible reality is what Israeli citizens experience every
that emanate from the stones of the holy city of Jerusalem,
echo from the hills of Judea and cry out to every Jew, no
She said U-M students who shout "Palestine will be free
matter where he or she may be."



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