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The Pulse  The AFMDA Newsletter MidweST Edition

Spring 2013 • Issue 1

Pillar of Defense recap

Lessons for the future: Preparedness and response In November, the line between “home front” and “front line” became blurred in Israel as months of rocket attacks culminated in Operation Pillar of Defense. MDA paramedics ran right into the war zone to save lives.

“MDA will be able to deal with unseen emergencies and scenarios that we have not experienced yet.”

In this new landscape, where Jerusalem is as much of a target as Sderot, MDA is confident it has learned lessons in preparedness and flexibility that can carry over to whatever threats the future may bring. “I can’t tell you for sure that we could respond to any given threat. But I can say that MDA will be able to deal with unseen emergencies and scenarios that we have not experienced yet,” said Yoni Yagodovsky, MDA director of international affairs. Indeed, during the eight-day conflict MDA workers immediately adapted to the rocket fire. Dispatch operators working out of bomb shelters sent hundreds of ambulances to answer thousands of calls. MDA also increased blood collection to ensure there would be safe blood for both routine emergencies and injuries from rocket attacks. MDA first-responders treated 419 injured people, including 20 soldiers. Sadly, six victims could not be saved.

Operation Pillar of Defense By the Numbers Operation Pillar of Defense lasted 8 days. Urban areas suffered 58 direct rocket hits. 350 MDA personnel were active in the field under fire. 450 Life Support Ambulances and Mobile Intensive Care Units responded to rocket attacks.

1,506 rockets were fired at Israel. Nationwide, 885 MDA ambulances were operating in Israel and responded to 11,500 incidents.

Terror in Boston: Emergency response used MDA know-how MDA was among the first organizations to offer assistance to Boston’s emergency responders after the deadly terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. While MDA was not needed on the ground, its expertise came into play immediately after the explosions. Kurt Schwartz, undersecretary for Massachusetts Homeland Security and Emergency Management, arrived on the scene minutes after the attack. “As I walked among the wounded and dead, I couldn’t help but think of Israel; what I saw instantly reminded me of so many images of IED [improvised explosive device] attacks in Israel. It is something that I never wanted to see in Boston,” Schwartz said.

“We have to make sure all of our offices have bomb shelters, that our ambulances are not all in one place, and that we have protective gear — body armor and helmets — for workers who are rushing to help people who are outside,” said Yagodovsky, wasting no time in thinking about how to prepare for the next mass emergency. ■

“I traveled to Israel in December 2011 with Homeland Security and emergency medical services personnel. Much of the focus of the trip was on Israel’s experience with IEDs and terrorism, and we made visits to several hospitals and to MDA’s headquarters. What I learned and saw in Israel helped me in my response to the IED attacks in Boston.” ■

MIDWEst Edition Chicago

Climbing toward the peak of charity


Great Vest Siders dedicate eighth ambulance

What do Israel’s MDA and Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro have in common? Before you say “not much,” meet Howard Zavell. Climbing the highest peak in The Zavells — all experienced Africa was a long-held climbers as well as enthusiastic dream for Zavell, 45, supporters of MDA — combined a Highland Park, Ill., their two passions by climbing Mt. attorney, and his two Kilimanjaro in a campaign they sons, Benjamin, 12, called “Operation Climb MDA.” and Max, 15. The Zavells — all experienced climbers as well as enthusiastic supporters of MDA — decided to combine their two passions by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in a campaign they called “Operation Climb MDA.” Longtime friends Marv Berman (left) and Gerald Kandel happy to see each other again at a recent GVS event.

“We grew up in poverty and didn’t even realize it.” Despite that raw and telling statement from a group member, Chicago’s Great Vest Siders have grown into an MDA fundraising success story. The group — whose members grew up together on Chicago’s West Side as children of Yiddish-speaking immigrants who couldn’t pronounce the word “west” — just donated its eighth ambulance last November. What started out as a social group transformed into an organization dedicated to giving something back after the Second Palestinian Intifada claimed the life of one of the group’s members. Since then, the Great Vest Siders have positively impacted Israelis in a variety of lifesaving ways, carving out a place for themselves among AFMDA’s most cherished and unique supporters. ■ From left, Howard Zavell with sons, Benjamin and Max, and cousin James Milin.

Climbing the 19,000-foot mountain required 18 months of preparation and planning. But ultimately, Howard’s goal was to raise awareness for MDA’s lifesaving work. “I wanted to expose more people to MDA,” he said. “A lot of Jewish people in my age group don’t know much about it.” Their adventure started without a hitch as Howard, his two sons, and their cousin began climbing Kilimanjaro in late December. Unfortunately, altitude sickness got the best of the intrepid hikers and they aborted their ascent short of the summit. But the numbers were very healthy: $30,000 raised via the “Operation Climb MDA” website and word of mouth. Howard says he and his sons are already planning on climbing Kilimanjaro again to help MDA, possibly next December. And the next time, they’ll be more determined than ever. ■



MDA’s Yagodovsky meets with mayor’s office While on a recent tour of the U.S., Yoni Yagodovsky, MDA’s Director of International Affairs, met with Vance Henry, Chicago’s deputy chief of staff for community and faith-based initiatives and a direct link to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The two discussed issues of mutual interest, including lifesaving procedures and Yoni Yagodovsky. best practices for dealing with traumatized populations. The goodwill meeting created possible new partnership opportunities for MDA and Chicago. ■

From the Front Lines: MDA in Action in Israel Detroit

Dr. John J. Mames Chapter-Michigan Region honors Mames family The Dr. John J. Mames Chapter — Michigan Region held its annual dinner last fall to remember its late leaders, Eva and Dr. John J. Mames. More than 250 community members came together to remember the Mames’ 45-year history of local leadership. Since 1967, the chapter has raised more than $30 million in support of MDA’s lifesaving work. Proceeds from the dinner sponsored a Mobile Intensive Care Unit dedicated to Eva and John, additional ambulances, and paramedic scholarships. ■

MDA paramedic helps woman deliver twins…over the phone MDA’s dedication to saving lives in Israel includes helping new lives begin. An Israeli woman expecting twins, Meital Shiri, was home alone when she suddenly went into labor despite being only 34 weeks pregnant. Panicked and unable to get to the hospital, she gave birth to the first child alone. At that point, she had the presence of mind to call MDA, the one organization she knew would immediately help. Maya Aloni, the MDA paramedic and dispatcher who took her call, told Shiri how to handle the newborn and guided her through the initial phases of delivering the second child — while simultaneously rushing an ambulance with MDA paramedics to Shiri’s home. During the conversation — which was recorded, like all emergency calls, and later replayed on Israeli television — Aloni calmly directed Shiri while providing emotional support and making the stressful situation more manageable. Within minutes, Shiri’s husband, Ilan, arrived home and Aloni gave him instructions as well. Very shortly after that, MDA paramedics arrived, delivered the second baby, and

From left, Arnold Gerson, AFMDA CEO; Manny Charach, chairman of the Dr. John J. Mames Chapter — Michigan Region; Cari Immerman, regional director; Andrea (Mames) Rosenblum; Sydney Rosenblum; Craig Rosenblum; and Dr. Robert Mames.


Feldman is AFMDA’s first motorbike sponsor Barry Feldman, president of Cleveland’s David Mark Berger Chapter and a national board member, made history by sponsoring the first-ever motorbike in the United States for MDA. Feldman dedicated the motorbike in Israel this past fall to his godchildren Zoe and Ethan. Feldman is a long- Barry Feldman, at right, the first U.S. motorbike sponsor, with MDA Director General Eli Bin. time AFMDA donor, and his mother Phyllis is remembered on an MDA ambulance. MDA’s nearly 200 motorbikes are capable of weaving in and out of challenging terrain in order to reach Israelis in need. They provide swift and efficient emergency response while working in tandem with MDA’s lifesaving ambulances. ■

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Paramedic Maya Aloni, left, featured on Israeli TV news after guiding Meital Shiri, right, through a home delivery of twins over the phone.

then took mother and newborns to the hospital, where the preemie twins were placed in incubators. All are now in good health. “At MDA, they teach us to function coolly and professionally,” Aloni said. “My role was to keep the mother calm, reassure her, and be supportive until the ambulance arrived.” And now, Israel’s newest twins will forever have Aloni — and her MDA training — as part of their lives. ■


Gil Hoffman makes the case for MDA The David Mark Berger Chapter of AFMDA partnered with Temple Emanu El for an enlightening event with Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. Hoffman’s visit to Cleveland, after a similar reception for AFMDA’s Philadelphia region, came just before President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. It focused on Israel’s security and emergency preparedness. ■


From the Front Lines: MDA in Action in Israel Tel Aviv

Blood Means Life 1 Every day, MDA bloodmobiles are stationed around Israel. BLOODMOBILE

MDA paramedics help avoid a “cat-astrophe” Did you know that MDA paramedics save not only injured Israelis, but also their furry friends? At a house fire in Tel Aviv this past December, MDA paramedics were relieved to encounter no fatalities and just a few victims of smoke inhalation, including a disoriented and staggering cat, struggling to breathe. MDA first-responders, ever resourceful, sprang into action, quickly administering oxygen to the felled feline. In a few minutes, the cat

2 People volunteer to give blood.

3 The blood is brought

directly to the MDA National Blood Services Center.

4 There, it’s tested to ensure patient safety.

5 Then it’s separated into four components, each requiring different processing and storage procedures.

Red Blood Cells Platelets Plasma Cryoprecipitate

6 Blood components are sent to

hospitals according to their requests and transfused into patients.

Each blood transfusion means the difference between life and death.


All nine lives intact: Inez Nochanovich, an MDA paramedic, administers oxygen to a felled cat.

appeared to recover and walked away under its own power, none the worse for wear. Of course, the cat did not show any gratitude, lest it be mistaken for a dog. The cat, which did not give its name, declined to be interviewed and did not disclose how many of its nine lives had been used up in escaping the fire. ■

Gift of life By the Numbers The blood center has 250 employees. The center collects 295,000 blood units each year. 4 products are created from each blood unit: red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate.

Transfusions can be provided to 3 people from one unit of blood. MDA provides 100 percent of the Israel Defense Forces’ blood needs and 97 percent of Israeli hospitals’ blood needs.

From From the the Front Front Lines: Lines: MDA MDA in in Action Action in in Israel Israel

MDA’s high-tech heroics Innovations keep MDA ahead of the curve in emergency response When GPS tracking became standard on all MDA emergencyresponse vehicles in 2001, Ido Rosenblat thought he had hit the jackpot. With pinpoint The technological leap forward accuracy, countless lives revolutionized the way Rosenblat, have been saved. director of MDA’s National Command and Control Center, could save lives in Israel. For the first time, he could connect a victim to the nearest ambulance or paramedic with pinpoint accuracy. Countless lives have been saved as a result. Little did Rosenblat know, GPS was just the beginning. In the decade since, technology has played an expanded role in MDA’s work. In the lifesaving business, where every second counts, MDA sees it as a responsibility, and not a luxury, to be on the cutting edge of innovation. It reinforces this commitment by leveraging products flowing out of Israel’s robust high-tech sector into its own research incubator, a sort of R&D department the public hardly sees but always benefits from.

A special prayer at the Western Wall MDA ambulance takes critically ill man on emotional journey What began as a routine transport of a patient for a medical test became a very poignant journey when an MDA ambulance crew granted his wish to visit the Western Wall, perhaps for the last time. David Schneer — an elderly, bedridden man with a malignant disease — was scheduled for a medical test at a Jerusalem hospital in early January. An MDA ambulance team picked up Schneer in Tel Aviv, transported him to the hospital, and was slated to take him home afterward, one of the many services MDA provides each day to thousands of Israelis.

David Schneer fulfills a wish at the Western Wall with the help of Yoni Uziyahu and the MDA medical team.

The trip to the hospital and the test went as planned. But as the crew prepared Schneer for the return home, he turned to MDA emergency medic Yoni Uziyahu and said quietly, “I want to go to the Western Wall.” Considering Schneer’s physical condition, it was not an easy request to grant, requiring special authorization and the involvement of the MDA medical team and security personnel at the Western Wall. Schneer told the MDA team, “I am a believing religious person and cannot even get to the synagogue. Because of my illness, there’s a chance I will never again be able to get to the Western Wall.” Technological advances, such as this mobile command and control center, allow MDA to save lives practically anywhere and anytime.

As it did with the GPS system, the division creates and develops specifications for its needed technologies, such as the new C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence) system, which lies at the heart of MDA’s National Command and Control Center (Mamlam in Hebrew). The comprehensive system streamlines various databases into two easy-to-navigate screens that dispatchers use when a “101” emergency call comes in to any of MDA’s 11 regional call centers. “The advantage of innovating in-house is that we know how to address the needs of the organization. And, as the people working in the field, we know how to develop and operate the best possible systems. It promotes efficiency,” Rosenblat said. ■ To find out how the C4I system saved an Israeli baby’s life, or to learn more about MDA’s high-tech heroics, visit

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In light of Schneer’s special request, authorization was granted. From a stretcher, Schneer put on tefillin, mouthed a silent prayer, and tenderly placed a small note between the ancient stones. Uziyahu, the MDA medic, later observed: “I have been in MDA for 12 years now. I have treated thousands of people and transported “Standing next to him, so many in the ambulance, but I close to the Western Wall, we have never been part of such an were both moved to tears.” emotional and touching experience. As a religious man, Mr. Schneer enabled me to carry out a very big mitzvah. Standing next to him, so close to the Western Wall, we were both moved to tears.” On the trip home, Schneer could not stop thanking the medical team for giving him the opportunity to pray at the holiest place for Jews — perhaps for the last time in his life. ■


NORtheast Report NYC


Gaby Ferman Lehrer named inaugural chair of ALC

Ido Aharoni, Israel consul general, thanks AFMDA donors More than 75 loyal AFMDA supporters attended a recent donor recognition reception at the Manhattan residence of Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel in New York.

Before Gaby Ferman Lehrer, a New York City attorney and real estate investment manager with family ties to MDA, accepted the position of inaugural chair of AFMDA’s New York/New Jersey Advisory Leadership Council (ALC), she had three requirements. “It had to help Israel, it had to have an effective and immediate impact, and it had to be cross-generational,” Lehrer said. “AFMDA was perfect. How do you argue with saving lives?” Appointed by AFMDA National Chairman Mark D. Lebow, Lehrer “AFMDA was perfect; how do you argue will lead the newly created ALC as it with saving lives?” seeks to raise funds and visibility to benefit the lifesaving work of MDA in Israel. Among its immediate goals are to recruit major donors, identify new funding sources, and help open new geographic areas for fundraising. “I wanted to be involved with an organization at a deeper level and do more than simply make donations,” Lehrer said of her decision to lead the ALC. Lehrer and her husband, Mark (also an ALC member), have strong, multigenerational links to MDA. Their support began as a direct result of Gaby Lehrer’s mother’s dedication to the organization and the State of Israel. Since 2010, members of the Lehrer and Ferman families have donated two ambulances, a motobridge command and

Attendees at the February 20 event included a number of ambulance donors, members of AFMDA’s dynamic Young Leadership Group, and representatives from the Mashadi community of Persian Jews in Great Neck, N.Y., who are currently raising funds to sponsor an ambulance. Left, Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel; right, Prof. Eilat Shinar, MDA blood services director.

Aharoni briefed attendees on social and political developments in Israel, and Prof. Eilat Shinar, MDA blood services director and advisor to Israel’s Ministry of Health, spoke about the need for a new Blood Services Center to improve MDA’s blood services network in Israel. ■


Virtual blood drive a real success More than 50 young professionals attended the January 2013 AFMDA Virtual Blood Drive inaugural event at Union Square’s SideBAR lounge and raised more than $5,000 — a sum that enables MDA to collect, process, and deliver 100 units of blood to Israelis. “We’re proud to embrace this cause,” said Sigalit Nagiar, a member of AFMDA’s Young Leadership Committee. “There are few things so central to the health and safety of Israel’s people than the emergency and blood services of MDA.” ■

AFMDA’s young leaders at Manhattan’s SideBAR lounge.


Remembering Gertrude Brooks Hankin Gaby Ferman Lehrer (top row, middle) with members of the Ferman and Lehrer families at a recent ambulance dedication.

control unit, and an upgrade to an MDA station’s safety security system. The Lehrers’ children are also involved, and the family rode in their donated ambulances during the 2011 and 2012 Salute to Israel Parades. ■


At Congregation Beth Or, in mid-March, 400 Hebrew school students welcomed an Israelbound ambulance. The ambulance, sponsored by Madeline Nappen along with her brothers, Mark Hankin and George Hankin, in honor Madeline Nappen and her grandson Brandon. of their mother, Gertrude, made another appearance later that day outside Congregation Beth El. That event celebrated the support of the local chapter of Christians United for Israel, led by Pastors Liz DeFrain and Steve DeFrain. ■

SOUTHEAST Report Florida


Area hero joins MDA during Pillar of Defense

Setting new standards for support

When Parkland, Fla., resident Jeremiah Cann saw what was going on in Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense, he did the only thing he knew how to do: he went to Israel to help. Cann, a trained paramedic, dropped everything and rushed to Israel to save lives as a volunteer with MDA. Working around the clock amid rocket, missile, and mortar attacks in southern Israel, Cann was the only Floridian in the group of 21 American MDA volunteers. However, unlike the others, who came as part of a delegation of New York paramedics, Cann came alone. “I did it just because it was the right thing to do,” said the soft-spoken Cann. “It’s in my heart to help, and it’s something I wanted to do.”

“I did it just because it was the right thing to do.”

Cann was deployed to Netivot, in southern Israel, where he immediately began treating everyone from children in shock to injured Israeli soldiers. “This defines who he is,” said Ruth Cann, Jeremiah’s mother. “He has a lot of Israeli friends and he’s a rescuer with a big heart. He really gravitates toward doing good things in the world.” ■

AFMDA’s hugely successful winter 2012–2013 events raised millions for MDA, setting a new standard for the Southeast Region. Dinners and galas in Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Aventura, and Sarasota honored some of the community’s leading supporters and philanthropists. The Celebration of Life Gala in Palm Beach attracted 400 guests to the Mar-a-Lago Club and raised $2.5 million for Israel’s National The Celebration of Life Blood Services Center, including Gala raised $2.5 million a $1 million founder’s gift from for Israel’s National Blood Services Center honorees Barbara and Jack* Kay. Ambulances were also sponsored. The newly expanded Boca-Delray Community Event paid tribute to Ina Rae and Neil Fox while celebrating the 100th ambulance dedication by the St. Andrews Country Club, the most of any community in the U.S. Eileen and Michael Goldman were lead sponsors of the 100th ambulance. Lorrilyn Saex sponsored the club’s first emergency motorbike. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, spent the day with AFMDA on January 23. After a key donors breakfast at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, he spoke at the dedication of a Mobile Intensive Care Unit by Bernie and Ruth Mintz at Addison Reserve. He ended the day at a reception hosted by Bruce and Sandy Hammonds. The annual Diamond Circle and Porto Vita events in Aventura raised nearly $1 million and produced three ambulances. The Diamond Circle dinner paid tribute to the legacy of Margaret Morse and her famous Margaret Morse Tours. The Porto Vita dinner honored Phyllis and Mike Levin for their tireless support of MDA and the State of Israel and the Boca Pointe community sponsored its 18th ambulance. In Sarasota, esteemed local philanthropist Gloria Moss and the Moss family were honored at a reception at Michael’s On East. The event, “Afternoon Reception: A Conversation with Nehemiah Dagan,” also launched the Angels Among Us campaign with a goal to sponsor a new lifesaving ambulance. ■ *of blessed memory

Above, from left, Susan Shulman-Pertnoy, Jacqueline Goldman, Nina Saslove, and Barbara Kay at the Palm Beach Gala. From left, Ina Rae Fox, Yoni Yagodovsky, and Neil Fox at the Boca-Delray Community Event.

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Ina Rae and Neil Fox with Eileen and Michael Goldman at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton.


westERN Report Los Angeles


Bar mitzvah boy acts well beyond his age

Professor Eilat Shinar visits L.A.

The traditional bar mitzvah ceremony usually includes the words “Today, I am a man.” Los Angeles native Robert Leeds, 13, took those words to heart and made an adult-sized gesture to MDA.

California was recently treated to a special visit from MDA’s director of blood services, Prof. Eilat Shinar. During her stay in Los Angeles, Prof. Shinar visited AFMDA National Board From left, Barak Raviv, president, Los Angeles Board; Joan members Les Handelsman and Ann AFMDA Handelsman; Prof. Eilat Shinar; Lesser. Later that same day, Prof. Les Handelsman, AFMDA National Board member. Shinar was hosted by Regional Board member Gaby Bashner for lunch before making a trip to meet colleagues at the Cedars-Sinai Blood Center in West Hollywood. Prof. Shinar wrapped up her visit to Los Angeles at a reception in Beverly Hills at the home of Dr. Isaac and Mrs. Shahin Eshaghpour. ■

In lieu of gifts, Robert asked the 800 guests at his bar mitzvah to make a very special commitment to saving lives in Israel: help him purchase an ambulance for MDA.

Los Angeles

A communal ambulance dedication From left, Dina Leeds, Charlie Leeds, Alisa Leeds, Robert Leeds, and Gideon Lustig, Israel’s deputy consul general to the Pacific Northwest. Back row, Fred Leeds.

His efforts paid off, and then some. Robert was able to sponsor two ambulances — one Life Support Ambulance and one Mobile Intensive Care Unit. Seeking to make a positive impact on his community and Israel, Robert turned to his father, Fred, and his mother, Dina, an AFMDA national board member, for guidance. Robert decided to donate his bar mitzvah gifts toward an ambulance on Robert Leeds receives the behalf of the city of Sacramento, which Maimonides Award from had just cemented a sister-city relationAFMDA CEO Arnold Gerson. ship with the coastal town of Ashkelon in Israel, an area hit hard by Gaza missile attacks. In making his generous gift, Robert became the youngest person ever to donate an ambulance to MDA and was presented with AFMDA’s Maimonides Award in recognition of his accomplishment.

“I wanted my bar mitzvah to be more than just a party.”

“I wanted my bar mitzvah to be more than just a party,” he said. “Becoming a man to me meant standing up for my brothers and sisters in Israel and helping to cushion the blows they experience on a daily basis. I wanted not only for the ambulance itself to save actual lives, but I also wanted the very action of sending it to be the message that you do not stand alone, and we love you.” ■


AFMDA’s Western Region’s November 18 ambulance dedication represented more than a gift to the people of Israel. It was also the culmination of a commitment by an entire community. The ambulance, dedicated at Yeshiva Gedolah in Los Angeles, was a communal gift led by AFMDA Los Angeles Board president Barak Raviv and supported by 13 other generous donors. ■ From left, Michelle and Marc Rosenbach; Stanley Black; Barak Raviv, president, AFMDA Los Angeles Board; Jona Goldrich; Patricia Moch; Judson Moch; and Regina Kytmanova.

San Diego

Dr. Mark Moss is latest Bennett Humanitarian Award recipient

From left, Dr. Mark Moss with Linda and Michael Bennett.

In October, Dr. Mark Moss became the latest recipient of the Marla Bennett Humanitarian Award for his passionate support of the San Diego community. Since 2004, the award has honored the life of Marla Bennett, a young San Diego woman who was one of nine people killed in a 2002 terrorist attack in a cafeteria at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ■

Make From the Front Lines: MDA in Action in Israel an impact. Save lives.

MDA Legacy Circle: Your lasting connection to Israel

AFMDA’s new Beacon Society celebrates ambulance donors

Of all the ways you can support MDA’s lifesaving work, perhaps none are so personal as legacy gifts.

If ambulances are the staple of MDA’s operations, then ambulance sponsors are the lifeblood of AFMDA’s work. With that in mind, AFMDA recently developed the Beacon Society, a new initiative that acknowledges individuals who’ve made saving lives in Israel a reality by sponsoring an ambulance. Inclusion in the Beacon Society has its benefits, including insider briefings and VIP receptions.

When coordinating your estate planning, of course you’ll want to ensure the well-being of your family and loved ones. That’s as it should be.

So far in 2013, generous AFMDA supporters have sponsored more than 40 ambulances, many of which have already been shipped to Israel. “We are well on track to meet or exceed the 2012 total of 93 sponsored and/or shipped ambulances,” says Arnold Gerson, AFMDA’s CEO.

New ambulances are constantly needed

At the same time, we know many donors are so committed to MDA that they’ve made provisions in their wills to continue their support even after they’re gone. Many feel a legacy gift is a lasting tribute to their lifelong generosity, Jewish heritage, and connection to Israel.

MDA’s 900 ambulances are the workhorses of the fleet, augmented by more specialized lifesaving vehicles including motorbikes, helicopters, and bloodmobiles. On average, an MDA ambulance has a lifespan of three to five years, and 20 to 30 percent of MDA’s fleet must be replaced annually. Additional units are needed to serve new areas as the population grows and expands.

Your provision of a legacy gift entitles you to membership in our new MDA Legacy Circle, and we want to make sure you’re able to take full advantage of its array of exclusive benefits.

AFMDA is the largest single provider of ambulances for Magen David Adom. The Beacon Society currently has 217 members who‘ve donated at least one ambulance over the past five years. To learn more, contact Bonnie Finley, AFMDA’s ambulance coordinator, toll-free at 866.632.2763 or ■

If you’ve included AFMDA in your will, or are considering it, please contact Jeff Lipkin, toll-free at 866.632.2763 or so we may acknowledge your commitment to MDA and welcome you into the MDA Legacy Circle. ■

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Contact AFMDA National Headquarters

Midwest Region


352 Seventh Avenue, Suite 400 New York, NY 10001 Toll-Free: 866.632.2763 Tel: 212.757.1627 Fax: 212.757.4662

3175 Commercial Avenue, Suite 101 Northbrook, IL 60062 Toll-Free: 888.674.4871 Tel: 847.509.9802 Fax: 847.509.9807

National Chairman Mark D. Lebow

Northeast Region

Ohio/Kentucky/Michigan/ Western Pennsylvania 23215 Commerce Park Road, Suite 306 Beachwood, OH 44122 Toll-Free: 877.405.3913 Tel: 216.342.4032 Fax: 216.342.4034

352 Seventh Avenue, Suite 400 New York, NY 10001 Toll-Free: 866.632.2763 Tel: 212.757.1627 Fax: 212.757.4662 Greater Philadelphia Area PO Box 52158 Philadelphia, PA 19115 Tel: 215.947.7007 New England PO Box 600714 Newton, MA 02460 Tel: 617.916.1827

Southeast Region 2100 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Suite 205 Hallandale, FL 33009 Toll-Free: 800.626.0046 Tel: 954.457.9766 Fax: 954.457.7705 Palm Beach 3300 PGA Blvd., Suite 510 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 Tel: 561.835.0510 Fax: 561.835.9410

The Pulse • The AFMDA Newsletter • Issue 1 Chief Marketing Officer: Rob Rosenthal Managing Editor: Erik Levis Senior Designer: Claudia Carlson Copy Editor: Liza Schwartz Levine Contributing Writer: Jim Julier


Western Region 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 650 Los Angeles, CA 90048 Toll-Free: 800.323.2371 Tel: 323.655.4655 Fax: 323.655.4659

AFMDA Israel Tel: 057.761.4220

Chief Executive Officer Arnold Gerson Vice Chair, Development Daniel Dobin Vice Chair, Public Relations Jacqueline Goldman Vice Chair, Projects and Allocations Gershon W. Trimpol Treasurer Fraeda Kopman Secretary Paula Blaine Cohen Audit Chair Jeffrey I. Lipschutz Directors Seymour Brief Donna Fried Calcaterra Martin Cohen Steven Einhorn Barry Feldman Neil Fox Les Handelsman Stuart A. Jackson Barbara Kay Dina Leeds Ann Lesser Mitchel A. Maidman Morris W. Offit Honorary Chairman Joseph Handleman, z”l

Do you know the story of someone whose life was saved by MDA? Send an e-mail to, with “Newsletter” in the subject line. If you want more updates from AFMDA, please go to and sign up for our eNewsletter.

Opposite page, paramedic Oren Avitan at the 2010 Carmel forest fire. He radioed in a multi-casualty incident and ordered 70 ambulances to the scene. Among the many burn victims were personal friends of Oren. He stayed through the night, treating and evacuating other victims and helping the police and firefighters.

Make an impact. Save lives.

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Non Profit Org. US Postage PAID Permit #1235 Brooklyn NY

352 Seventh Avenue, Suite 400 New York, NY 10001

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Get Involved! Upcoming AFMDA Events ■■ Chicago’s

Great Vest Side Semi-Annual Dinner: May 13, 2013 For more information, call 888.674.4871 or e-mail

■■ Detroit

Annual Dinner: September 22, 2013

Honoring over 35 young adult volunteers. For information, call 877.405.3913 or e-mail ■■ Los

Angeles Gala: October 6, 2013

AFMDA’s Western Region will host its first annual gala dinner in Los Angeles. For more information, call 800.323.2371 or e-mail ■■ Northeast

Region Mission to Israel: October 12–21, 2013 Join AFMDA on its Fall 2013 Mission to Israel, October 12– 21. This mission offers the rare chance to get to know Israel through the eyes of MDA’s lifesavers. For more information, call 866.632.2763 or e-mail

■■ Cleveland

Annual Gala: October 27, 2013

Benefitting the new MDA National Blood Services Center. For information, call 877.405.3913 or e-mail


General Assembly: November 10–13, 2013

Join us in Jerusalem as we celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday with a convoy of American-sponsored ambulances. For more information, call 866.632.2763 or e-mail ■■ Aventura,

Fla., Diamond Circle Event: November 24, 2013 For information, call 800.626.0046 or e-mail

■■ New

York City Northeast Region Gala: November/December 2013 For information, call 866.632.2763 or e-mail

■■ Palm

Beach Celebration of Life Gala: February 23, 2014 For information, call 561.835.0510 or e-mail

The Pulse, Spring 2013: Midwest Edition  
The Pulse, Spring 2013: Midwest Edition