Photo: MDA Director-General Eli Bin; Cross River Bank President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Gilles Gade; Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion; International Fellowship of Christians and Jews President and Chief Executive Officer Yael Eckstein
Magen David Adom has prioritized the task of placing defibrillators in public spaces throughout Israel. Already, thousands have been installed around the country. Defibrillators can be operated without medical training and are intended to save lives in the event of a heart attack until emergency crews arrive.
Now, hundreds of these lifesaving devices will be installed in Jerusalem synagogues before Rosh Hashanah. The operation is the result of a joint initiative by MDA Director-General Eli Bin and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. Thanks to support from American and international donors, the Jerusalem Defibrillator Project was launched this month at The Jerusalem Great Synagogue, the city’s largest and most central synagogue.
The project, the first of its scale in the country, was made possible with contributions from the International Fellowship for Christians and Jews and New Jersey’s Cross River Bank. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mayor Lion, Eli Bin, and funders Yael Eckstein, president and chief executive officer of the Fellowship, and Gilles Gade, founder, president and chief executive officer of the bank.
“We thank our partners in the Jerusalem Municipality and distinguished donors,” said Eli Bin. “Hundreds of devices to be placed in synagogues join thousands of devices we have installed in the public space that help save lives every day. We wish good health and a happy new year to the worshipers in the city, and hope they will not have to use these devices in the future.”
One moment during the ceremony that moved the audience was when a 38-year-old Jerusalem resident, father of five, shared his story of resuscitation during which he received 12 electric shocks. As soon as he stepped off the stage, Eckstein announced the Fellowship’s donation of another 230 devices to additional synagogues in Jerusalem.
“For 20 years now, the Fellowship has been at the forefront of action to save the lives of Israelis in routine and emergency situations,” said Eckstein. “A defibrillator is often the difference between life and death. We are grateful to our more than 600,000 donors around the world, who are making it possible to save and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis and Jews in the diaspora.”
Recently, a 57-year-old man was saved when a defibrillator in the Haganah train station in Tel Aviv was used to resuscitate him after having a heart attack. Had there been no defibrillator, he more than likely would have died before first responders were able to arrive at the scene.
“Thank you to Mayor Lion for his vision,” added Gilles Gade. “Magen David Adom is already working tirelessly to maintain our safety and it is important that they have all possible resources. We are excited to be part of such an important initiative and we know this contribution is just the beginning of our partnership.”