Last week, we held an amazing holiday event at the Millennium Center in honor of the following:
1. Dedication of an intensive care ambulance for MDA (Magen David Adom, Israel’s Red Cross organization)
2. Lighting the Hanukkah candles for the first time at the center
3. Celebrating Hanukkah with Holocaust survivors from Jerusalem
The event started in the afternoon, with 55 Holocaust survivors and their guests. We provided refreshments and music by guitarist Dudu Sidi. Eli Jaffe, Vice President of Magen David Adom, gave a speech along with other MDA team members. Our co-founder Batya Segal and guests from other partner organizations also said a few words. After that, the ambulance dedication took place, where we revealed the sign on the ambulance. We enjoyed Hanukkah and Israeli sing-along songs with our guests, all led by Dudu. And since no Hanukkah party is complete without Sufganiyot, we treated our guests to the Israeli jelly donuts, more desserts, and gifts of fleece scarves.
The Holocaust survivors thoroughly enjoyed the event: They sang and danced, and at the end, they came to thank us, even offering to volunteer after hearing about our extensive outreach missions.
Batya shared: "All the event preparations were fruits of the VFI team's idea to incorporate two things — the donation and dedication of the intensive care ambulance before it went out to serve in northern Israel, and support for the Holocaust survivors. Two ambulances arrived at the Millennium Center: one that we donated about a year ago, and the new intensive care ambulance. As the Holocaust survivors arrived, the action began. We greeted them warmly and they were very cordial and excited to celebrate Hanukkah with us. The refreshments were already waiting for them and they were so moved by the decorations, service, and food.
The event was marked by the pleasant sounds of Hanukkah songs and other familiar tunes played on guitar in the background.
At the end of the event, after the speeches and candle lighting, the survivors started to dance and sing. One of the ladies even put a puppet inside her sweater and improvised a comedy sketch about a woman going into labor, which was inspired by MDA’s report on the 1000+ births that occurred on one of the donated ambulances. In all, Vision for Israel donated three ambulances and three medicycle to serve in Israel.
An old Jewish proverb says: ‘Anyone who saves one soul, it's like he saved an entire world. And anyone who makes one sad soul happy, it's as if he made an entire world happy.’”