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 The only thing missing from the Diplomatic Spouses Club Israel (DSCI) Charity Gala fundraiser, was a red carpet.


More than 300 guests including diplomats, media, film directors, producers, hospital executives, founding mothers and capital financiers turned out to support the charity fundraiser held in the garden of the American Ambassador’s residence on June 1, 2014. The event raised more than 57,000 NIS for the Lady Sarah Cohen Unit for Family Centered Therapy and Healthcare, a clinic that supports the families of chronically ill children including families of children who have been victims of terror.


A special feature of the fundraiser was the presentation, by Director Rama Burshtein, of her award winning film, “Fill the Void,” a sensitive portrayal of a Jewish Orthodox family in crisis. The theme fit hand-in-glove with DSCI’s gala and with the clinic’s focus on families. After the film, Burshtein took questions from the audience.


Ambassador Dan Shapiro and his wife Julie Fisher welcomed a wide variety of guests to their home including Rama Burshtein and her producer Assaf Amir. Also in attendance were the founding and current directors of the clinic—Dr. Cynthia Carel M.D. and Chava Cohen, respectively. Professor Josef Press, director of Schneider Children’s Hospital addressed the audience and presented a certificate of appreciation to Joanna Landau, the original donor who joined forces with Dr. Cynthia Carel and provided capital to found the clinic. Today, the clinic bears the name of her great-grandmother.


Each year, DSCI members nominate and select an organization or community project to which they lend financial support. This year, Maria Kuglitsch, chairperson of the gala, nominated the Lady Sarah Cohen Unit; and members agreed with overwhelming enthusiasm.  In the past, DSCI has raised funds for the Jezreel Valley Center for the Arts, Budo for Peace, Middle East Education Through Technology (MEET), L.O.- Combat Violence Against Women, the Dror Association, Beit Issie Shapiro and others.


Since ticket sales were many and expenses minimal, almost all proceeds will go directly to the Lady Sarah Cohen family clinic, to further their important work. It is a one of a kind resource in Israel, and it has guided countless families through the traumatic minefield of their child’s serious illness or injury.


If you missed the gala and would like to get more information, please contact DSCI at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Diplomatic Spouses Club Israel Charity Committee members included:

Chairperson Maria Kuglitsch, Austria; Kamolrat Boon-Long, Thailand; Rita Cohen, European Union; Susan Dilles, U.S.; Julie Fisher, U.S.; Co-President Eden Goldberger, U.S.; Celia Leaberry Gould, United Kingdom; Ceciel Huls, Netherlands; Swati Jha, India; Mary Knight, U.S.; Co-President Rachel Lord, Australia; Jean Murphy, Denmark; Lanre Obasa, Nigeria; Hideko Sato, Japan; Johanna Stegen, Chile; Jane Smith, Canada; Ed Stachow, Australia; Siobhan Tracey, Ireland.



Photo credit: Mary Knight

Photo captions:

The Diplomatic Spouses Club Israel sponsored a Charity Gala at the home of Ambassador Dan Shapiro and his wife Julie Fisher, to benefit the Lady Sarah Cohen Unit for Family Centered Therapy and Healthcare at Schneider Children's Hospital June 1, 2014. Gala festivities included a private screening of the film "Fill the Void" a unique and sensitive film about a  Jewish Orthodox family. The program was attended by Director Rama Burshtein and her producer Assaf Amir, and by members of the Cohen-Landau family who provided the initial grant for the Lady Sarah Cohen Family Clinic. Also present were past and current directors of the clinic, Dr. Cynthia Carel M.D. and Chava Cohen, and representatives of Schneider Children's Hospital including the hospital Director Professor Josef Press. The program was emceed by Gala Chairperson Maria Kuglitsch, wife of Ambassador Franz Josef Kuglitsch -- and attended by a number of foreign diplomats and their spouses, residing in Israel. The event raised more than 57,000 shekels.


Photo  1 Ambassador Dan Shapiro says goodbye to founder and past director Dr. Cynthia Carel M.D., of Lady Sarah Cohen Unit at Schneider Children's Hospital.


Photo 2 Left to right

Eden Goldberger, co-President Diplomatic Spouses Club Israel

Julie Fisher, wife of American Ambassador Dan Shapiro

Fill the Void Director Rama Burshtein

Founder and past Director of Lady Sarah Cohen Unit Dr. Cynthia Carel MD

Chairperson of DSCI Charity Gala Maria Kuglitsch



Photos courtesy of the USA Embassy