Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem is on the brink of financial collapse, the Forward reported.
The hospital is facing a $300 million deficit, including $80 million accrued in the last year, according to the newspaper.
Efforts by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America to save the medical center have resulted in a break with the hospital leadership in Israel. The organization has not been able to increase its funding for daily operations of the hospital, the Forward reported, and cash-flow problems caused hospital employees to receive only a partial salary in November.
Last year, during the Hadassah organization’s 100th anniversary celebrations, the group dedicated a state-of-the-art hospital tower fully funded by the organization through a national campaign. The tower is not yet fully operational, however, requiring another $45 million to reach that level.
The four Israeli members of the Hadassah hospital board resigned in October after they were excluded from negotiations with the Israeli government over government funding of the hospital. American representatives of the organization comprise 51 percent of the hospital board and can control its decisions, according to the Forward.
The American Hadassah organization has faced financial difficulties resulting from the world economic downturn and fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi and the spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi party, is in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where he is being treated for an infection.
He is conscious but is breathing with the help of a respirator.
“Rav Ovadia,” as he is popularly known, had been in the hospital on Sunday for tests, was released but later was rushed back after not feeling well.
He has been in and out of the hospital several times this year.
I keep trying to make this point to show what I believe is the unique Israel. In the last few weeks, three incidents have happened that once again reinforce what I have known all my life. Am I wrong to believe there is no other country in the world that would do these things?
Here’s the first amazing story:
A young cancer patient on the way to the US with a bunch of other sick kids can’t find her passport.
With no other choice, the young girl was removed from the plane and the plane prepared to depart after a fruitless search on the plane, in the airport, everywhere. Minutes before takeoff, while the plane was taxiing to the runway, they found the passport in another child’s backpack.
Too late, no? The stewardess told the pilot – the pilot radioed the tower and was given permission to turn back. The story appears here.
As the child cried, so too did people on the plane – and the stewardesses, and people on the ground. Amazing.
And the second story…
David Finti is 19 years old. He is a Romanian Jew. While boarding a train, David was electrocuted and severely burned. The local Jewish community contacted the Jewish Agency. They recognize the collectivism of our people just as on the Israeli side it was recognized as well. And so, Israel flew the young man to Israel, making him an Israeli citizen so that he could get critical care free of charge. David and his parents were flown to Israel and are now at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital. The story appears here.
Yet another story in the last few days has come to light. Israel recently managed to bring in another 17 Yemenite Jews – leaving 90 left.What amazes me is that we were able to bring another group here to Israel and more, that we know how many remain. We are watching, waiting, hoping to bring the last remnants of what was once a great community here to Israel.
It is what we do. Three stories of how Israel watches, Israel waits, Israel acts.
Over the past few years, Reform and Conservative Judaism have been struggling so much with the notion of ordaining women rabbis and gay rabbis, that we, the spectators (innocent bystanders?) of those struggles have completely lost sight of an even more challenging notion: can they ordain gentile rabbis?
To cut a long story short: they can and they have. The Reform movement has done, and as a result, I believe, has placed itself outside the Rabbinical Jewish tradition regarding the fundamental notion of who qualifies as a Jew.
I became aware of this complete and, presumably, final split between Jews and the largely American Reform movement after receiving a link to Seth Berkman’s piece in the Forward: Angela Buchdahl, First Asian-American Rabbi, Vies for Role at Central Synagogue. The article praises Angela as an example of diversity, who “walks among the pews, greeting congregants before Friday night services at Manhattan’s venerable Central Synagogue,” where she faces “a mélange of Jewish faces, including blacks, Asians and Hispanics,” in a “diversity that reflects the emergence of an American Jewry of unprecedented ethnic breadth.”
Had I known nothing more about the above paragraph, I would have been beaming with pride over it. In the shuls I attended on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, spotting an African or a Hispanic face was always such a source of pleasure. As a tiny nation and an even tinier religious group, we prize every gentile who embraces our faith and goes through the sometimes grueling process of becoming one of us.
Except that Berkman cuts to the chase right at the opener, making clear that no such grueling effort was involved in Angela Buchdahl’s joining the Chosen People: it turns out that the diversity she so praises at that Reform gathering is “embodied” by Buchdahl, who was “born to an Ashkenazi, Reform Jewish father and a Korean Buddhist mother.”
Exactly 30 years ago, in 1983, the Reform movement in America adopted the bilineal policy: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis declares that the child of one Jewish parent is under the presumption of Jewish descent. This presumption of the Jewish status of the offspring of any mixed marriage is to be established through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people. The performance of these mitzvot serves to commit those who participate in them, both parent and child, to Jewish life.”
It should be noted that outside the U.S. the Reform moevement is yet to adopt the sweeping “presumption of Jewish descent” doctrine, but they do, by and large, offer “accelerated conversions” to children of a Jewish father.
For Buchdahl, according to Hadassah magazine, key Jewish values include “a spirit of genuine inquiry and multiple opinions; our whole method of study and nondogmatic spirit; the dignity of every person and the fact that we are all created in the image of God; the ability to know what it is to be a stranger and to have been a slave—and to force ourselves to embody that understanding in every generation.”
Far be it from me to criticize such fine and noble notions, but it is difficult to recognize in that amalgam anything uniquely Jewish. Absent is the idea of fulfilling the mitzvot as a divine agenda. It’s all about getting along with others and respecting them, not so much about applying Torah laws to one’s daily life.
Indeed, the more the Reform movement is reinventing itself, the closer it gets to Christianity. She’s been active, among other things, at Auburn Theological Seminary, “an interfaith platform to address global issues and build bridges across religious traditions.”
“Angela is an extraordinary religious leader,” Rev. Katherine Henderson, Auburn’s president, told Hadassah. At a gathering for a Presbyterian group last year, Buchdahl “led worship that was completely authentic for her as a Jew and yet completely accessible for this group of Christians,” says Henderson. “We were all able to praise God together!”
This reporter is known to be flippant, so I very much want to avoid being flippant about this story. I don’t think we should denounce people like Angela Buchdahl, or condemn the Reform movement for its straying so far out of the Rabbinical Jewish tent. But we should remain steadfast in not calling any of these people and the nice things they do “Jewish” in any way at all. We’re already not permitted to set foot inside their houses of worship. We should probably stop calling their religious teachers “Rabbi” – perhaps “Reform Rabbi” will do. And we should look forward to the time when calling someone “Reform” would simply mean a really nice non-Jew.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with what the Jewish Telegraph Agency described as “Jewish leaders” to “brief” them on the resumption of Israeli-Arab Palestinian talks on Thursday evening, August 8.
Although the briefing was off the record, the JTA quoted unnamed attendants who said several things.
First, that the meeting was dominated by Kerry’s “enthusiam for the resumed talks, and the serious commitment he said [sic] saw from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.”
And second, that Kerry “repeated his appeal to American Jews to endorse and support the peace process, first made in early June”.
Invited participants at the briefing were: leaders from the Conservative movement, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Conservative movement, the Orthodox Union, American Friends of Lubavitch, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish Federations of North America, Hadassah, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Clearly, for this State Department, as well as the JTA, Jewish “leaders” is synonymous with the entire spectrum from center to center left. Where was the Zionist Organization of America? Where was the Republican Jewish Coalition? Where was Aish HaTorah? Where were any Jewish organizations that might point out the folly of the current talks, or the demand for horrifyingly painful concessions from one side just to start the talks at all, and none from the other side?
Oh, right, those present were the American Jewish CheerLeaders for this Administration and its Middle East efforts all of whom prove an airtight theory usually wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein: the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In fact, almost exactly four years ago, during Obama’s first term he had his first major sitdown with roughly the same set of Jewish “leaders.” The meeting was called at a time when American Jews who very uneasy about Obama’s interest in being supportive of Israel. At that meeting, one man actually did square his shoulders and dared to make a sideways suggestion to the president.
According to an account in the Washington Post, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein said to the president, “If you want Israel to take risks, then its leaders must know that the United States is right next to them.”
The president’s response did not give Jews or Israelis the assurance they had been seeking. Obama said to Hoenlein, ““Look at the past eight years,” he said, referring to the George W. Bush administration’s relationship with Israel. “During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”
In other words – being such good friends with Israel did nothing for President Bush’s ability to make progress on the peace process. It looks like Obama’s Middle East team holds the same view the president expressed right to the faces of the American “Jewish leaders” back in 2009. And now no one in that group is going to challenge him or his surrogates.
Shas party’s spiritual leader and former Chief Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is recovering from major back surgery at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem following the procedure on his spine the previous day.
Yosef, 93, was scheduled to be transferred out of the intensive care unit on Tuesday. He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for the third time in recent weeks suffering from intense pain due to a fall in his home early last month. He also had a minor stroke in January.
More than 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the Newtown shooting.
Hadassah has raised more than $61,000 toward the planting of trees honoring the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The trees will be part of the Beersheva River Park, a 1,700-acre water, environmental and commercial area being constructed by the Jewish National Fund in Israel’s desert city.
The idea for the Newtown grove grew from a request made by Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was the only Jewish victim of the shooting at the Connecticut school. Pozner said memorial contributions could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel.
The president of Hadassah, Marcie Natan, said her organization decided quickly that it wanted to honor all the victims of the massacre, not just Noah.
“Everybody was so affected by the massacre and wanted to do something to express their solidarity with the families,” Natan told JTA. “Each of us have had the experience of non-Jews who have found it very meaningful when a tree is planted in the Holy Land. We felt no one would be offended by this and we thought it would be a very appropriate way to honor the memory of the victims.”
The trees will be planted in a section of the park that Hadassah already had committed to populating with trees. At $18 per tree, the gifts in memory of the Newtown victims thus far are enough to cover more than 3,300 trees.
11:13 PM AnIsraeli was injured in rock attack near Kiryat Arba. He was transported to Hadassah Hospital, unconscious with a severe head injury.
The number of rock and firebomb attacks in Judea and Samaria has been very high on Sunday.
9:03 PM In response to increasing tensions in the Middle East, New York police increase security on Synagogues in the city. 8:50 PM El-Al giving major discounts to Israelis overseas who receive emergency call up orders.
7:25 PM Iron Dome systems knock down missiles over Gush Dan/Tel Aviv area. Sirens send residents running to shelters.
6:20 PM: Hamas operator killed along with his family by Israeli rocket. This brings the overall death toll in Gaza since the start of Pillar of defense to 66.
6:12 PM Ben Gurion university in Be’er Sheva will remain closed tomorrow.
6:10 PM IDF has hit 50 terror infrastructure spots in the Gaza strip today.
5:39 PM: Gaza City is in partial darkness this evening. There’s no telling whether the electric power was cut by the Hamas or by Israel.
5:25 PM: Over the course of the day, the IDF has targeted over 50 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including under-ground rocket launching sites and terror tunnels, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, the IDF targeted Hamas’ operational communication infrastructures in the northern Gaza Strip, which are used for issuing orders to operatives as well as the spreading of propaganda. In addition, the IDF targeted a launching site, from which a rocket was fired towards the city of Tel Aviv, as well as several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads. (IDF)
5:20 PM: IDF artillery fire hitting the Gaza Strip
5:00 PM Air raid siren in S’dot Negev.
4:56 PM 4 rockets land in Eshkol region, no reports of injuries.
4:46 PM Once more, Israeli press talking about representatives going to Cairo to discuss a cease fire. UPDATE: Both Defense Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Liberman say there will be no talking while rockets falling.
4:44 PM Rockets fired at S’derot and Sha’ar HaNegev. 4:29 PM Preliminary reports: 4 wounded, one seriously, one moderately in the Ofakim region. UPDATE: 2 seriously wounded. Rocket hit next to car.
UPDATE: 5 wounded, 2 adults and 2 year old daughter were in a car and two passersby.
4:18 PM Sirens going off in S’dot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev. 7 rockets fired. Most fall in open areas.
4:05 PM Channel 2 TV reports that a car near Ofakim was hit by a rocket, and there are 4 wounded; 2 moderately, 2 lightly.
4:04 PM US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Schapiro met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and reviewed the new Iron Dome (5th installation) protecting Greater Tel-Aviv and promised another 300 Million Dollars — for their to be a total of 13 Iron Dome installations. (source)
3:56 PM Reports of rocket strike in Negev area. MDA forces responding.
3:13 PM Air Raid sirens in Eshkol region 3:10 PM In a lightening fast operation, the IDF Homefront command fixed a number of sirens in Central Israel that were not working well over the past few days.
3:04 PM Air Raid Sirens in Eshkol region
2:46 PM Video of Iron Dome taking out GRAD rockets less than an hour ago.
2:45 PM Two GRAD rockets taken out by Iron Dome (fired at Ashdod area
2:21 PM Direct hit on a house in Ashkelon….no injuries.
2:15 PM Reports that the last barrage of rockets towards Ashdod and area was over 15 rockets in one shot.
2:10 PM Air Raid Sirens as another rocket barrage is headed for Ashkelon.
2:05 PM Another rocket hits Ashdod. Forces responding to 2 locations.
2:02 PM Iron Dome working overtime to take out Grad rocket strike on Ashdod and area….
2:01 PM Another Air Raid Siren in Ashdod….GRAD rocket lands in Ashdod…forces responding.
1:44 PM Notice to Ashdod residents. IDF sappers are going to explode a fallen rocket soon. If you hear a boom, its a controlled explosion.
1:40 PM 3 rockets land in Beer Sheva. No Injuries.
1:26 PM Air Raid Sirens in Beer Sheva area.
1:23 PM IDF dropping leaflets into Gaza: Important Message to Gaza Strip residents: Hamas is playing with fire and endangering your lives for naught. The IDF is proceeding to the next phase. For your own safety, we ask you to adhere to our instructions and distance yourselves from Hamas operatives and infrastructure. Sincerely, THE IDF.
1:21 PM Israeli Government meeting to decide on IDF ground incursion (Udi Segal, Channel 1 TV)
1:14 PM Reports of a direct hit in Sederot. Unconfirmed, as MDA and Homefront command responds.
1:04 PM Another barrage of rockets over Southern Israel for the past 15 minutes
12:26 PM IDFSPOX: Rocket fell in Ashkelon near a nursery school.
12:15 PM Siren in Ashdod.
12:08 PM Syria claims IDF killed 3 Syrian soldiers, after IDF shot back at Syrian army position that shot at them on Saturday night.
11:59 PM Ashkelon Beach
11:47 AM IDF takes out launch team that shot at Tel Aviv
11:34 AM Serious injury in Shaar Hanegev from Rocket
11:20 AM Sirens going off in S’derot
11:15 AM Two more rockets shot down over Ashdod.
11:13 AM Rocket fell a short time ago in Ashkelon causing minor damage to a building. More sirens sounding there now.
11:04 AM Sirens in Gan Yavne and Gadera. Also Nitzanim, Beni Aiyish, Chatzor, Ashdod, Iron Dome knocking down rockets.
11:01 AM Two wounded lightly after hit building courtyard in Ashkelon. Car damaged by rocket parts crashing down in Holon.
10:48 AM Warning sirens in Holon, Ashdod. Rocket lands in Ashdod, security forces on their way. 10:39 AM Air raid sirens in Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim, Gan Raveh.
10:33 AM: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired at Tel Aviv.
10:32 AM: Sirens in Tel Aviv, Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim and Ramat Gan.
10:31 AM: A volley of Rockets fired at Regional Counsil Eshkol, one lands inside a village.
10:30 AM: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over Ashdod.
10:29 AM: Sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.
10:20 AM: Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip has opened and trucks carrying medicine and food are moving into into Gaza City.
10:29 AM Hamas: Using human shields is our policy.
10:26 AM Conflicting reports: High ranking Hamas member – Cease fire within a day or two. High ranking Israeli parliamentarian - We’re not stopping anytime soon.
10:18 AM IDF has, in principle, authorized plans for entry of ground troops into Gaza.
10:17 AM 3 rockets knocked down over Ashdod.
10:05 AM Siren in Ashdod
10:00 AM Most rockets from Northern Gaza.
A number of countries have expressed interest in buying Iron Dome systems.
Islamic Jihad #2 says, “From the first rocket to the last bullet, everything we have is from Iran.” (Galei Tzahal)
9:56 AM Mortar land inside community near Gaza. Shrapnel damage to building. No injuries.
9:55 AM Rocket fell in Be’er Tuvia region. Open area. No injuries.
9:51 AM ALL the rockets landed in open areas from the massive barrage!
New Alert in Shaar haNegev
9:45 AM 2 rockets taken out by Iron Dome over Ashdod.
9:42 AMMASSIVE rocket barrage on its way to southern Israel, all along Gaza region, over 40 areas listed. Iron Dome Responding
9:32 AM Eshkol Region Siren
8:38 AM: A Grad rocket hit a residential building in Ashkelon, one resident injured. A second missile hit a car in the city, and two rockets landed in open areas out of town.
8:02 AM: Two rockets fell and exploded in an open area in the Regional Council Eshkol.
7:08 AM: Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted dozens of underground rocket launchers, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations.
A short while ago, two sites in the northern Gaza Strip were targeted: Saraya – a Hamas primary training base and command center – and a communications antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity against the State of Israel. A number of training bases owned by Hamas were also targeted throughout the Gaza Strip. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted terror sites on the northern Gaza shoreline.
The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.
6:50 AM Sunday Morning Update
Shimon Ben-Hamu (23), a resident of Tekoa was killed on Saturday night when his car was hit by a large rock thrown at his car. Ben-Hamu lost control, the car overturned, and he was killed. (HNN)
After midnight, Israel saw a noticeably visible decrease in rockets shot from Gaza. While Israel continues to hit terrorist sites, some air attacks were called off due to the presence of too many civilians above the terror target sites (human shields). We are not yet speculating as to the reasons why Hamas fired less missiles overnight.
The Palestinian appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to stop the Israel attacks, saying Israel was in violation of the Geneva convention.
Gazans are reportedly terrified of an Israeli ground invasion, and many have picked up and moved to the center of Gaza.
There are unconfirmed reports that some of the journalists that Hamas took as Human Shields may have been injured in an IAF strike. This is still unconfirmed and will be updated as soon as we know more.
Rumors continue to fly about a possible Cease-Fire. Netanyahu denies the rumor is true.
12:39 AM (Sunday) Shooting attack at IDF forces from Syria in the Golan Heights near Tel-Chazeka. No injuries to IDF forces, which returned fire.