State Senators Harriette Chandler and Michael Moore,
and New England Consul General Shai Bazak
all offer words of encouragement
An evening of awareness about the importance of the life saving activities of the American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) was held on April 30th at the Chabad Center in Worcester. There was standing room only and the crowd was still as Senator Scott Brown shared his personal experience of his trip to Israel. “You have to see first hand how people live under the constant barrage of missiles.” He said the trip gave him a clear understanding of the grave importance of the security needs of the tiny Jewish state surrounded by enemies. He asked the audience to imagine enemies on our borders here in Massachusetts.
The Senator went on to explain his work on the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. He, along with Senators Lieberman and Kirk, has made a strong commitment to Israel, and they do everything in their power to support and protect it against threats from Ahmadinejad and others. Senator Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, mingled with the audience during the dessert reception.
Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, State Senators Chandler and Moore, and Natalie Rudolph who represented the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, reiterated the sentiments of Senator Brown, stressing the importance of the services that AFMDA provides. Lt. Governor Murray ended his remarks with a thank you to the Fogelman family. “Give my best to Rabbi Fogelman.”
The guest speaker of the evening, Mr. Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel, was extremely informative. He interwove his remarks with anecdotes that thoroughly entertained the audience. He began with a compliment to Senator Brown, calling Brown a “true friend of Israel”. He said Israel and the US share the same values of freedom and human rights, unlike other nations surrounding Israel. And he warned the audience of the danger that the Arab nations pose. “When you teach children to hate, as they do, it is very difficult to achieve peace.”
Mrs. Rochele Fogelman set the tone for the evening as she explained the importance of the Seven Noahide Laws. She spoke about the Rebbe’s mission of goodness and kindness, and the ideal partnership that exists between AMFDA and Chabad; one provides emergency service and supplies, and the other provides spiritual and educational support. Each group answers to the emergency call of the people.
Three university students, Daniel Saxe, and Yedidya Ben-Avie, Brandies University, and Ari Winograd, Clark University, talked about their experiences as they physically manned and answered emergency calls when they worked as volunteer workers for AMFDA in Israel. They inspired the audience with their passion for helping others.
Burton Klein, New England representative for AFMDA described the 2012-2013 New England Project – a new emergency electrical power system installed in the new Magen David Adom emergency medical station in Jerusalem. This new MDA station contains a dispatch center, a blood collection and storage center, paramedic & EMT training facilities, and EMT ready-rooms. There is much dependence on electricity since there is much electrical equipment in use, and the station must remain in operation 24/7/365.
Olga Serebrennikov, who was just asked to serve on AFMDA’s New England Advisory/Leadership Council, was moderator of the evening. Mrs. Serebrennikov initially became involved with the organization when her son Michael was preparing for his bar mitzvah. Michael, who attended Yeshiva Academy Worcester, is graduating this year from Carnegie-Mellon University. Olga has remained an avid member and supporter of the program. In addition to her work with AFMDA, Olga and her husband Boris recently opened the MathAltitude School of Mathematics in Worcester, which offers after-school courses for children from preschool through high school. Olga has also been working as a consultant at Yeshiva Academy running the MathCounts program this year, and worked with Chabad Director Mendel Fogelman for the past several months making arrangements for this special AFMDA event.
The American friends group has donated most of Magen David Adom’s 800 ambulances and mobile care units. They serve nearly 550,000 patients annually. The event Monday night was both informative and enjoyable. Each speaker offered a unique perspective on Israel and emphasized the importance of AFMDA.
By Karen Chandler, Worcester Yeshiva