New York (September 12, 2012) — Sometimes, peer pressure is a good thing. When Larry “Cha Cha” Katz attended the dedication of an Israeli ambulance donated by his friend Meyer Zinn, he was inspired to offer his own philanthropic gift to Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service.
“I saw how Meyer’s generosity touched the lives of Israelis so decided that I wanted to support the cause as well,” said Katz. “Meyer has always been great role model and friend.”
Last month, two ambulances, one each from Manhattan residents Zinn and Katz, were unloaded at Israel’s Ashdod port, ready to be dispatched on the streets of Israel to save lives. Zinn’s is dedicated to his sister Esther and brother Joseph, while Katz’s ambulance is in memory of his mother, Sally Katz, and wife, Rita Katz.
“I’m so happy to be able to help the people of Israel in such a tangible way and that Larry decided to do the same,” said Zinn.
Katz, a Bronx native with a talent for the cha cha, and Zinn, a Holocaust survivor who made New York home, have been lifelong friends since they met in Manhattan’s textile industry years ago. Zinn donated his first ambulance to MDA two years ago and dedicated his most recent one in June 2012. After that dedication he and Katz visited Israel together and toured MDA stations, reinforcing their enthusiasm for MDA’s lifesaving work.
Katz is hoping to keep the chain of inspiration going. “Meyer’s generosity spurred me to donate, and I hope that my gift will inspire others to give, whether it’s an ambulance or a coin in a tzedakah box. Everything helps,” he said.
Magen David Adom provides a rapid and skilled emergency medical response, including disaster, ambulance, and blood services, to more than half a million Israelis each year. The organization is mandated by the Israeli government to serve as the nation’s emergency medical response organization, but isn’t funded by the Israeli government, relying primarily instead on funding from donors around the world.