American Friends of Sheba Medical Center recently held its annual Gala Dinner at The Plaza hotel in New York City. Chairman Helene Feldman, President Mira Bar-Mashiah and Executive Director Stephan Bassett hosted the evening, which raised funds for the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in Israel.
Itzhak Tshuva, one of Israel’s leading businessmen with interests in real estate and natural gas, was honored with the Sheba Humanitarian Award. He was introduced as a true hero of Israel by Barclays Capital Vice Chairman Harvey Kreuger. Additionally, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, and Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, were declared Sheba Global Special Ambassadors.
Architect Daniel Libeskind attended the event. He is currently designing two new buildings for Sheba: one for the Center for Treatment of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder and one for the International Pediatric Neurosciences Institute.
Dr. Arnold Breitbart, an American Friends of Sheba Medical Center executive board member from Great Neck, attended as well. He counts Sheba’s burn unit as one of many causes he has raised money for by running marathons.
Sheba Medical Center is the most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. It pioneered Israel’s first open-heart, artificial heart and congenital heart defect surgeries, and is at the forefront of medical research and technology. The hospital serves patients who come from throughout the Middle East, including many Palestinians. In fact, often as many as a third of the patients at the Edmond & Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba are Palestinians.
As patients from other countries come to Sheba for care, Sheba takes its care to other countries. Sheba doctors have brought international relief and medical training to numerous countries, such as China, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Brazil and Kosovo. Chief of orthopedic rehabilitation Dr. Itzhak Siev-Ner has made several trips to Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010, supervising teams of Sheba medical personnel that treated patients all year long. Sheba also opened the Haitian- Israeli Rehabilitation Center in Port-au-Prince, in partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Magen David Adom and Haitian Red Cross.
Sheba Medical Center began as a hospital to treat wounded soldiers, and continues to serve those who serve the country. Among the IDF soldiers treated successfully at Sheba’s Rehabilitation Hospital are Eyal Naifeld and Ron Weinreich, who addressed the crowd at the American Friends’ dinner.
Other notable dinner attendees included Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin. Over 600 people attended the dinner, which raised close to $1 million for Sheba Medical Center. For more information, visit www.shebamedical.org.
Written by: Laura Bart of The Long Island Jewish World Newspaper