Bikers rev their engine for AFMDA
The Star of David Bikers gear up for their annual Louis Nemtsov Star to Star Memorial Ride in support of AFMDA.
The Star of David Bikers, a Jewish motorcycle club in the Philadelphia area, has joined forces with American Friends of Magen David Adom to help save lives in Israel. On August 9 the group of more than 30 bikers wound their way around Bucks County in their annual Louis Nemtsov Star to Star Memorial Ride, named after the groups founder who passed away suddenly in 2009.
The ride ended at Congregation Beth El in Yardley, PA, where the Bucks County Jewish Festival was well underway. More than 300 supporters and enthusiasts were in attendance to cheer on the bikers, celebrate Israel, and learn about the work of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization. The event drew people from all over the area with falafel, face painting, and Israeli music filling the afternoon.
The bikers finished their ride at the Bucks County Jewish Festival.
The event raised substantial funds in support of Magen David Adom. These funds will help purchase vitally needed medical supplies that will keep MDA’s medics prepared, no matter the emergency. AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area Director Sharon Schmidt, who first met Louis Nemtsov in 2009, expressed her gratitude for the Star of David Bikers commitment to MDA, a cause that was dear to the heart of the group’s founder, “Thank you to everyone who came out and supported AFMDA at this incredible event. It was a beautiful day honoring the memory of Louis and sharing the amazing work of MDA. Your dedication to this cause will help save the lives of countless people in Israel for generations to come.”
Philadelphia supporters get behind the scenes look at MDA
Frank and Bunny Brodsky in front of the William H. Bloomberg Jerusalem MDA Emergency Medical Station.
Philadelphia AFMDA supporters Frank and Bunny Brodsky got a behind the scenes look at the William H. Bloomberg Jerusalem MDA Emergency Medical Station during their recent visit to Israel. They had been to Israel many times before, but had never taken the opportunity to explore the Magen David Adom operations in depth. Frank and Bunny were both excited to see exactly how MDA is able to save countless lives every day. AFMDA Israel Representative Jonathan Feldstein took the couple to the dispatch center where MDA medics answer an average of 4.8 million calls a year (one every nine seconds) using their state-of-the-art system that tracks every emergency vehicle in the country in real time. The Brodskys also saw the great impact Philadelphia donors have made over the years as they walked by the numerous mezzuzot and plaques honoring the support of Israel’s largest station, which serves over one million people each year.
“We hope that more people will visit MDA facilities and see for themselves the miraculous work of MDA,” said Frank Brodsky at the end of the tour.
If you are planning on visiting Israel in the future and are interested in touring any of the 120 medical stations across the country, please let us know. Email or call Greater Philadelphia Area Director Sharon Schmidt at 215.947.7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donor Spotlight: Valentine’s Boxes Bring Smiles and Save Lives
All the ingredients are set out and ready to go.
At 10 years old, Lauryn Chotiner is one of AFMDA’s youngest donors. But her age only proves that it doesn’t make a difference how old you are when it comes to saving lives in Israel. All it takes is a great deal of passion for Magen David Adom mixed with a creative idea, and maybe a little sugar sprinkled on top too. In today’s Donor Spotlight, Lauryn shares her inspiration behind how she turned one of her favorite hobbies into a lifesaving fundraiser.
“I originally had the idea to sell Valentine’s Day gift boxes because I enjoy baking and thought it would be a fun way to make money. I then realized it would be more special to donate the money to a cause that was important to my family and me.”
Lauryn used her dad’s favorite brownie recipe.
“My Bubbie always tells me about the importance of Israel and what it means to be Jewish. I learned about Magen David Adom from my parents. It is a wonderful organization and an important cause. They are the first to arrive in an emergency to help those in need. I am proud that the money I raised is going to save lives in Israel.”
“I enjoyed making the brownies using my Dads favorite recipe and had fun baking cookies! Packaging up the gift boxes was a lot of work, but it was so special to see the smiles on people’s faces when I delivered them! It was a lot of fun to brighten people’s days with goodies! Plus, I knew all my work was going to support a great organization!”
The first delivery is ready to go!
After all her hard work, Lauryn raised $300 for AFMDA. Her donation will literally help save lives by providing medical equipment to the paramedics of Magen David Adom. Thanks to her generosity, 8 million Israelis can rely on MDA to respond to every emergency, from heart attacks to terror attacks. All it took was a sweet idea from a sweet girl.
If you would like to start your own fundraiser, click here for more information.
Director of International Relations Lays Down the Law
During Operation Protective Edge MDA Director of International Relations Yoni Yagodovsky traveled to the United States to update supporters on the situation in Israel. At the law firm of Zarwin Baum DiVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. in Philidelphia, PA, attendees received crucial information on the crisis and how MDA is responding. Yagodovsky shared what high alert means for MDA, including the 13,000 active volunteers who work 24 hours a day, not going home to sleep or see their families. During this time of conflict MDA also plays an imperative role in evacuating injured soldiers to area hospitals to receive urgent care.
We thank Yoni Yagodovsky for briefing those in attendance on MDA’s lifesaving work during Operation Protective Edge.
From Left, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area Director Sharon Schmidt, Attorney Kenneth Fleisher, MDA Director of International Relations Yoni Yagodovsky.
MDA celebrates Israel Solidarity in D.C.
Ron Dermer, ambassador of Israel to the United States, and Sharon Schmidt, Philadelphia area director.
Last month, Jews and Christians gathered for the annual Israel Solidarity Event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. AFMDA was represented by Sharon Schmidt, Philadelphia area director, and Jonathan Feldstein, Israel representative. Remarks were delivered by Ambassador of Israel to the United States Ron Dermer and Rev. Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association & Samaritan’s Purse.
AFMDA and Gov. Corbett stand up for Israel
Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA greater Philadelphia area director, with Penn. Gov. Tom Corbett.
AFMDA was well-represented at a Stand United With Israel rally at Temple Sinai in Dresher, Penn. Attendees had the opportunity to hear various speakers, including rabbis,pastors, and politicians.
A new ambulance begins its journey to Israel in Pennsylvania
From left, Stanley Ginsburg, Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Phila. Area Director, Arlene Ginsburg, and Rabbi David Straus.
Stan and Arlene Ginsburg received the AFMDA Beacon Award at the dedication of an ambulance that they helped to fund. The dedication took place at Main Line Reform Temple on Nov. 15, 2013.
From left: Stanley Ginsburg, Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Phila. Area Director, Arlene Ginsburg and Rabbi David Straus.
Sharing expertise with law enforcement
Sharon Schmidt on the MDA motorbike.
Marcy Mirkin, AFMDA director of human resources and administration, and Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area director, visited the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Philadelphia. Over four thousand law enforcement heads from all over the world attended the event, where they saw cutting edge law enforcement technology, tools, and vehicles. The Magen David Adom motorbike was proudly displayed and drew a lot of attention. Pictured on the bike is Sharon Schmidt.
A night to honor Israel
From left, Cantor Elizabeth Shammash, Teferet Bet Israel; Sharon Schmidt, Greater Phila. Area Director AFMDA; Pastors Liz and Steve DeFrain, PA Directors of CUFI; Izzy Ezaqui, IDF soldier; and in the back row, Pastor and author Victor Styrsky, Eastern Regional Coordinator of CUFI.
American Friends of Magen David Adom was proud to partner with Christians United for Israel’s (CUFI) Night to Honor Israel, an expression of Christian solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. The event was held at Morning Star Fellowship in Quakertown, PA with over 700 in attendance to cheer, praise, and pray in support of Israel. Net proceeds from the event will support CUFI on Campus and AFMDA. Guest speakers included Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, Yaron Sideman; Pastor and author Victor Styrsky, Eastern Regional Coordinator of CUFI; Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area Director; and Izzy Ezaqui, American-born IDF soldier. The event was hosted by Pastor John Decker and arranged and hosted by Pastors Steve and Liz DeFrain, PA Directors of CUFI and Morning Star Fellowship Pastors.
Dancing in the Aisles!
From left, Rev. Roger Hambrick, Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area, Neshama Carlebach, Josh Nelson, and the Green Pastures Baptist Church Choir.
It’s not everyday that people are dancing in the aisles at Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, Penn. But that’s just what happened when Neshama Carlebach and the Green Pastures Baptist Choir performed there on Sunday, September 22. The audience couldn’t help but be moved by their inspiring music. And it was all for a great cause, supporting the lifesaving work of Magen David Adom.
Neshama Carlebach tickets on sale now!
Get your tickets now for Neshama Carlebach and the Green Pastures Baptist Choir in concert! General admission seating is just $36 and for $90 you can attend a VIP dessert reception with Neshama and the band. Space is limited, so click here to reserve your tickets now.
Neshama Carlebach is coming to Philadelphia
Save the date for Neshama Carlebach and the Green Pastures Baptist Choir in concert! Neshama brings the incomparable melodies of her father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, along with her incredible band and the Green Pastures Baptist Choir. They’ll be performing at Beth Sholom Congregation near Philadelphia, and all proceeds benefit Magen David Adom. Don’t miss this unique event! Click here for more information or e-mail email@example.com. Tickets will be on sale soon.
Philadelphia marches to support Israel and MDA
Congregation Beth Or had a very special guest in its contingent at Philadelphia’s Israel @ 65 parade. Leading the synagogue’s members was a Magen David Adom ambulance that had been dedicated at Congregation Beth Or in memory of Gertrude Brooks Hankin. Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA’s Greater Phildelphia Area director, and Ronnie Pleet, Philadelphia campaign chair, were among those who marched with the synagogue.
Remembering Gertrude Brooks Hankin
From left: Robert Nappen, Madeline Nappen, Sharon Schmidt, Rabbi Gregory Marx, Helene Hankin, Mark Hankin, Ina Hankin, and George Hankin. (DNK Photography LLC)
On March 22, family and friends gathered at Congregation Beth Or in Ambler, PA to dedicate an MDA ambulance in memory of Gertrude Brooks Hankin. The ambulance was sponsored by her daughter, Madeline Nappen, and her sons, George and Mark Hankin. Gertrude was a longtime supporter of AFMDA. She sponsored an ambulance in 1992 and funded a room in the new William H. Bloomberg Jerusalem MDA Emergency Medical Station in 2007. She will be greatly missed.
Siblings raise funds for two Red Bags
From left: Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Area Director, Erika Zaslow, Jake Zaslow, Rabbi David Straus
When siblings Erika and Jake Zaslow had to choose a mitzvah project, the Red Bag of Courage program, which funds Israeli paramedics’ first aid bags, was a natural choice. Their father, an attorney, is a volunteer medic for the local Narberth Ambulance Service, so the twins knew how vital emergency medical services are to a community.
The original plan was to ship 200 teddy bears to MDA so paramedics could hand them out to young victims. But the logistics were very challenging and they ended up donating the bears to the local ambulance service instead. There was $2,000 left from the fundraisers they held, so they decided to donate the money to MDA to help stock paramedics’ first aid bags with medical supplies.
The family has never been to Israel, but they hope to get there. In the mean time, Erika and Jake are helping the country from afar. And they want to inspire others to do the same. They will receive their own Red Bags as a thank you for their hard work, and they’ve decided to display the bags at their b’nai mitzvah at Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, PA, in the hopes that their friends will follow in their footsteps.
Israeli journalist speaks in Philadelphia
From left: Gil Hoffman; Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Philadelphia area director; Norman Zarwin; Marlene Zarwin; Gershon Trimpol, AFMDA National Board Member.
Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post, visited Philadelphia MDA supporters on March 13 to speak about the current political and security situation in Israel. During the intimate gathering at the home of Philadelphia Chairman Norman Zarwin and his wife Marlene, Hoffman gave attendees an insider’s update on the threats facing Israel and Magen David Adom’s role in maintaining safety and security.
Pastors honored for support of Israel
From left to right: Phil Weinstein, event MC; Yaron Sideman, consul general of Israel in the North Atlantic Region; Pastor Steve Defrain; Pastor Liz DeFrain; Sharon Schmidt, AFMDA Greater Philadelphia Director, William Sutter, former CEO of Friends of Israel; and Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg.
Supporters of Israel in Pennsylvania are lucky to have Pastors Steve and Liz DeFrain on their side. As pastors at Morningstar Fellowship and Pennsylvania directors for Christians United for Israel, the DeFrains work tirelessly for Israel and people all over the world.
AFMDA had the pleasure of honoring them at a reception on Sunday, March 17 at Temple Beth El in Yardley. In addition to hearing about the DeFrain’s inspiring work, attendees also heard about the lifesaving work of Magen David Adom, which goes hand in hand with the DeFrain’s passion and concern for Israel.
Donations made for this occasion benefited Magen David Adom. There was even an MDA ambulance on display outside the synagogue, sponsored by Madeline Nappen and her brothers George Hankin and Mark Hankin.
The Defrains are planning a Night to Honor Israel at their church in April and AFMDA is looking forward to participating.
In the driver’s seat
Philadelphia campaign chair, Ronnie Pleet, had a photo opportunity on an MDA motorbike in Jerusalem during a recent visit to Israel. Ronnie also toured the new William H. Bloomberg Jerusalem Station, where she funded three ambulance bays.