fsockopen(): unable to connect to ssl://query.yahooapis.com:443 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known)


For the first time in Israel – A Therapeutic Relaxation Garden in the Maternity Ward which utilizes elements from nature with an emphasis on attention to the needs of the new mother. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was a donation by Jewish National Fund – Holland, is located in the center of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center Maternity Ward, and is unique product of the project’s architect, Zvika Kanonitz.

Today, Monday, June 18th, a therapeutic relaxation garden was inaugurated in the maternity ward of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera – the first of its kind in a hospital maternity ward in Israel. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was donated by JNF Holland through the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) in Israel, was designed by Zvika Kanonitz, an architect with rich experience in therapeutic gardens.

The inauguration ceremony included members of JNF Holland and KKL-JNF in Israel, the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center management, maternity ward staff and more.

About the therapeutic garden – a relaxing and private experience in the maternity ward

The relaxation garden is built entirely of rejuvenating and comforting motifs for postpartum women – planned and designed exclusively for the new mothers. The garden includes walking paths made of pebbles for a reflexology massage for swollen feet, winding through shaded and intimate areas. Comfortable seating throughout is incorporated with plants to create a microclimate which shades and protects patients from the sun, and a small water pool at the foot of a green vegetation wall attracts butterflies and birds. The garden is located at the heart of the maternity ward in a closed courtyard that is only available to mothers and their newborns, and entrance to the courtyard is only available through the maternity yard. The area is carefully guarded to provide patients with a sense of comfort and security and provide a quiet and calm environment in the days after giving birth, before their return home.

JNF Holland President, Prof. Moshe Kon, said during the ceremony that, “We are happy for the cooperation that brought about not just any garden, but a piece of heaven. As a doctor, I understand the importance of a relaxing and healing environment and I am proud of the result. KKL-JNF will continue to support amazing social projects such as these for Hillel Yaffe, out of our sense of duty and commitment.

Director of the medical center, Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, said, “We are proud that we have the ability to provide our maternity patients not only a professional team and well-equipped department, but also a private garden accommodated specifically to their needs. I want to thank JNF Holland for the generous donation and to KKL-JNF for their collaboration along the way.”

KKL-JNF Chairman, Mr. Daniel Atar, sent his blessings and said that, “This is not a donation; this is an investment. There is no asset more worthwhile than humanity. There is no better investment than an investment in society, and there is nothing more important than investing in public health and equality. It is my privilege that the organization that I head is taking this part of the community’s mission and part of the country’s responsibility upon itself.”

Photo credit – Tal Zigdon
In the photo (R-L): Prof. Moti Halak, Maternity Division Director; Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center director; Dr. Amnon Ben Moshe, Administrative Director of Hillel Yaffe; Dr. Moshe Kon, JNF Holland President; Dr. Ehud Huchman, Deputy Director of the hospital; Mr. Freddy Rosenberg, JNF Holland CEO.





Largest Hospital in Northern Israel Prepares for War

The Scenario: Faced with the threat of missile attacks, Rambam Health Care Campus, Northern Israel’s largest hospital will have to move underground.

Today, June 14, 2018, an emergency drill was conducted at Rambam Health Care Campus with the scenario of a missile attack on the Haifa area, forcing the only referral hospital in the north to transfer operations to the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. This unique facility, the largest of its kind in the world, normally operates as the hospital's parking lot, but in wartime transforms into a 2,000-bed medical facility within 72 hours. In a wartime scenario, this facility becomes the regional hospital for all wounded in the north.

As part of the drill, the hospital practiced several scenarios, some based on lessons from the Second Lebanon War, when Rambam operated under continuous fire. That experience led to construction of the underground facility, ensuring the ability to care for patients in a safe and secure environment.



During this morning’s first scenario, following receipt of an early warning, the Haifa region was placed on high alert and a decision made to evacuate the hospital departments to the underground facility. For this drill, logistical preparations included activating air purifiers and compressors, power generators, and air conditioning systems embedded in the walls of the underground hospital/parking lot, and the deployment of toilets, temporary showers, and wet up the rest of the infrastructure to become patient-ready. Medical teams then practiced transferring patients (in their hospital beds) and accompanying medical equipment to designated stations underground, including the transfer of advanced life-saving equipment such as dialysis units, and surgical equipment. This cannot be simply a temporary shelter: in the event of an emergency situation, the underground hospital is expected to absorb hundreds of oncology patients, pregnant women, dialysis patients and more—all of whom require ongoing medical care while the region is under fire.

The second scenario during the drill involved a situation in which missiles hit the hospital with no warning, damaging hospital departments. This exercise involved evacuating the wounded to Rambam’s Department of Emergency Medicine, which is also fortified, and will continue to function during wartime. After initial triage, the wounded were then transferred to the underground hospital for ongoing care.

The third and final drill addressed absorption of patients arriving from outside of Rambam. In this scenario, patients were being transferred by ambulance to the underground hospital. Ambulances drove in via the parking lot entrance and discharged the wounded there, to minimize exposure to the outside danger. The patients were received by medical teams who then transferred them, as appropriate to the protected emergency department (via an underground elevator), or elsewhere to the respective underground hospitalization area.

The drill also served as a first time test of the functionality of Rambam’s new underground Command Center from which all emergency activities were managed. The Command Center was inaugurated one month ago thanks to a generous one million dollar donation from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. The center enables essential hospital management and expert personnel who are responsible for directing the flow of patients based on injury severity, , logistical needs, function of vital systems, and more. All critical information is gathered from the hospital's monitoring systems and analyzed by a proprietary emergency software system developed at Rambam. The emergency administration team can observe above ground activity with the help of hundreds of cameras installed throughout the hospital campus.

Observers of the drill included Maagan David Adom officials, the Home Front Command, and the Emergency Division at the Ministry of Health, in addition to 22 international participants of Rambam’s 19th Developing and Organizing a Trauma System and Mass Casualty Management Course, which ended today. The aim of the course was to provide participants with the knowledge and training to implement a trauma management and emergency system in their home nations.

"After two months of dealing with an impossible scenario of treating the sick and wounded under fire, we decided that this reality could not be repeated," said Professor Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam. "About five years ago, the underground hospital at Rambam was inaugurated. This facility is of strategic importance for the entire northern region. I hope we will never have to use it, but if the day comes, we will be ready for any scenario."




The new Command Room of the underground hospital.

Rambam’s Dialysis Unit caring for patients in the underground hospital.

Transferring patients from the main hospital to the underground hospital.

Wounded are brought by ambulance directly into the underground hospital.

Photo credit: Pioter Fliter, RHCC.



Birthright Israel announced as the winner of The Jerusalem Unity Prize 

In Addition to Birthright Israel, other winners include The Jewish Unity Project in Boca Raton, Florida, Kululam, Runners Without Borders, and TEC Center

Birthright Israel was announced as one of 2018’s recipients of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, chosen from among hundreds of candidates. 

For the first time in the history of the award and in honor of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Birthright Israel for their significant work and contribution to the connection between Israel and world Jewry.

Gidi Mark, Birthright Israel CEO: "We are deeply honored to receive this lifetime achievement award from such an inspiring and important initiative. Over the past 18 years, we have welcomed more than 600,000 participants in Israel in order to strengthen their Jewish identity as well as their connection to the Jewish state. The interaction among these participants, representing a variety of opinions and backgrounds, has cultivated hundreds of thousands of different personal longstanding connections and we are very proud of their impact on the Jewish people’s unity."

The Jerusalem Unity Prize is an initiative of the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, the Ifrach, Shaer and Fraenkel families, Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality, Israel’s Ministry of Education and the Gesher Organization. In the summer of 2014, Jews the world over were devastated to learn that Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Ifrach, were kidnapped and murdered, but amidst all the tragedy and sorrow, so much good emerged. Israeli society and world Jewry united to create a true atmosphere of solidarity. By awarding this unique prize, the families of the three boys seek to illuminate the value of unity.

The prize celebrates organizations in Israel and throughout the world that contribute to the unity of Israeli society and the Jewish people and inspire similar projects and activities among others. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Jerusalem Unity Prize will be awarded in memory of the boys as part of Global Jewish Unity Day.

In addition to the Lifetime achievement award introduced this year, the prize also includes local, national and international categories.  This year’s financial reward of 150,000 shekels for the prizewinners will be divided between the recipients: Birthright Israel, Kululam, Runners Without Borders, TEC Center and The Jewish Unity Project in Boca Raton, Florida.

The winners of this year’s prize were chosen by the nominating committee: The Chairman of the Prize Committee, Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Nir Barkat, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Benny Gantz, Olympic medalist  Yarden Jerbi, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Dr. Danny Tropper, former Minister Prof. Yuli Tamir, Chairman of the Lautman Foundation Noam Lautman, Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman, singer Kobi Oz, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Amal As'ad and the Israch, Shaer and Franekle families.

Prize committee Member, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Benny Gantz: "One of the most difficult moments of my position as  IDF Chief of Staff was when I received the devastating news about the bodies of the three boys being found. The boys’ families turned their personal disaster into a source of national strength - the Jerusalem Unity Prize was born out of this great tragedy. Our country’s defense challenges are numerous; the external threats are constantly changing and will continue challenging us. The ability to stand together in times of crisis is crucial and in the face of these challenges, the most vital thing for Israel's resilience is our unity, which we should all promote each and every day."

The prizes will be awarded at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem as part of the fourth annual "Global Jewish Unity Day" to take place on June 6th, 2018 in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, members of the prize committee and the families of the three boys.





 Epsilon Delta Holdings and Investments - owned by the Afifi family – win the tender to build the first hotel in a Bedouin village. The 120 room, the 4-star hotel will cover an area of 14 dunams at the foot of Mount Tabor in the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

Jerusalem, May 16, 2018 – Epsilon Delta Holdings and Investments, owned by the Alfifi family, have won the tender to build the first hotel in a Bedouin village and will pay the Israel Lands Authority NIS 150,000 with an exemption from the cost of leasing. The 120 room, 4-star hotel will cover an area of 14 dunams at the foot of Mount Ta4-star the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

The winning developer will finance the development cost of the hotel, with the assistance of a Ministry of Tourism grant of up to 33% of the cost of the construction, subject to compliance with the conditions of the Tourism Ministry’s Investment Administration. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism has recently approved a budget for the establishment of a tourism infrastructure in the village, which is strategically located in terms of tourism potential, near Mount Tabor and other holy sites located on pilgrim routes in Israel.

A village of about 70,000 residents, Shibli is located on the route up to the holy churches on the top of Mount Tabor and on the axis of the Gospel Trail and the Israel Trail. More than half a million tourists pass through it every year on their way to the churches.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: "I welcome the establishment of the hotel, and I am convinced that tourists will enjoy its special location, its proximity to the Christian holy sites and the unique and authentic village experience. We are placing special emphasis on the development of tourism throughout Israel and all the different sectors, and I am convinced that, with the assistance of the ministry together with the establishment of tourism infrastructure in the area, tourism will develop successfully in the area. "

Adiel Shimron, Director of the Israel Lands Authority: "Alongside efforts to market land for housing, we are also working to promote tourism and commercial projects in Israel, such as the first Bedouin hotel in the world, which will attract both incoming and domestic tourism and serve as a source of employment for the residents of the region."

Shibli regional council head Na'im Shibli: "A luxurious and unique boutique hotel is planned, based on Bedouin culture, featuring Bedouin hospitality and healthy natural Bedouin cuisine from the Galilee. This will be a luxury hotel unlike any other in Israel, which will give an economic boost to the village and the entire region and create hundreds of jobs in the hotel itself and the surrounding tourist industry.”






Shaare Zedek Medical Center officially named the hospital’s downtown campus, The Eduardo and Jovita Cojab Building. The building has been a Jerusalem landmark for close to one and a half centuries and was part of the original structure of the Bikur Cholim Hospital which became part of Shaare Zedek in 2012. 

The building's unique Ottoman Era architecture is defined by archways, high ceilings and external components and is located in the heart of the Holy City’s downtown commercial zone.  Many thousands of Jerusalemites were born there – including Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, who attended the dedication ceremony and spoke of his emotional connection with this special building.

Today, the building continues to house a very active maternity department where over 6,000 babies were born this past year, in addition to a cardiology department and numerous outpatient services.



Eduardo and Jovita attended the ceremony along with their four children and their spouses (two sons and two daughters) as well as several friends. Shaare Zedek’s Director General, Professor Jonathan Halevy said at the ceremony, “You truly couldn’t choose a more appropriate project to demonstrate your commitment to the future of our city and nation than by naming this building which actively brings new lives into this world…Through your support, we serve as partners in a remarkable mitzvah of providing advanced and compassionate care.”



Mr. Jacobo Cojab, the son of Eduardo and Jovita, spoke at the ceremony and described the naming as a real zechut (merit) that will associate his family’s name with a structure that each and every day symbolizes new life for Jerusalem and Israel.

Chacham Shalom Cohen of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, and Rabbi Avraham Tobal of the Monte Sinai Community in Mexico attended the dedication as well.

Special thanks to Mrs. Carol Broussi de Rubin, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center representative in Mexico.


 Facebook Shaare Zedek Medical Center Jerusalem / המרכז הרפואי שערי צדק

Twitter  https://twitter.com/ShaareZedekMed


Photos by Silvia G Golan