Bloomberg Dedicates MDA Facility in Jerusalem
To honor the memory of his late father, William H. Bloomberg, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his sister, Marjorie, dedicated a major operational center to the Magen David Adom ambulance service in Israel. “We are deeply honored that our father’s name will be associated with one of the world’s finest health care organizations,” Bloomberg said, the building “will help MDA staff and volunteers save lives.” The cornerstone of the training facility and blood donation center was laid by their mother four years ago.
The Jerusalem building includes a visitors’ center, interactive exhibit detailing MDA’s history, and a 100-seat auditorium. “We were attracted to the MDA (by) its spirit of volunteerism and its commitment to treating all people, of all religions and nationalities, absolutely equally,” said the Mayor, calling MDA “a true community of service.”
New York City is well represented in the facility through the Public Art Fund of New York City, “Marjorie and I also want to especially thank the artists for contributing their work including Fronds West, Frederick Brenner, and Naomi Leshem,” said the Mayor and he also noted the participation of James Snyder and Savan Eran of the Israeli Museum.
Bloomberg said of his father- who died while the Mayor was a student at Johns Hopkins University -“For him, and for so many Jews of my parents’ generation, the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 represented the promise of the new world that he wanted for his children: where your last name would not be cause for discrimination, which he did experience, where his son and daughter would have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.”
Recalling both his father’s sense of justice “quiet commitment to charity…one of the most important lessons that history can teach us…is to live by your actions and not by words,” the Mayor said “there is really no better way, I think, to honor our father than by dedicating a center that will help those most in need here in a country that embodies his belief in the promise of a better world and equality for all.”
Following the dedication, the mayor met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and presented an American flag flown above the United States Capitol in honor of the release of Gilad Shalit.
He stated that “New Yorkers’ admiration and support for Israel is strong and unshakeable, and we appreciate the powerful stresses that Gilad Shalit’s long captivity placed on the Israeli people.” The Mayor marched with Aviva and Noam Shalit in the Salute to Israel Parade in 2009.