This week my family visited Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah project. The Save a Child’s Heart organization, according to the mission statement on its website (www.saveachildsheart.org) is,

An Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries. SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child’s nationality, religion, colour, gender or financial situation.”

At the hospital we met with Randi Weiss, the dynamic Director of Youth Leadership, who showed us a moving introduction film and then took us around the ICU ward where Dr. Hanita introduced us to patients from Gaza and Africa. The mothers from Gaza were so appreciative of the wonderful staff in the hospital including Fatma, an Israeli-Arab social worker who works on the SACH team as a translator and social worker. Randi explained that part of the SACH mission is training doctors from Africa and the PA to perform the life saving procedures in their countries of origin.

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SACH (photo (c)T. Book, 2015)

After visiting the Wolfson Medical center we then went to volunteer at the recuperation center where the children and their parents or caregivers, mainly hailing from developing sub-Saharan African or Arab countries, are either preparing for or recuperating from the surgery that will allow them to live normal lives.  We met with the special volunteers and played and interacted with the children. My family was deeply moved and asked why there is so little awareness and appreciation outside Israel for all the good that Israel does for the world. SACH is one of many Israeli organisations dedicated to making the world a better place by practicing the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam.

 

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Happy Post-Op SACH Patient.  (Photo, (c) T. Book, 2015)

Israel strives to be a, “Light unto the nations.”  Daniel Gordis succinctly summed it up when he stated that, in addition to striving for the benefit our own citizens,

This country has become a country, with all of its imperfections, that sees as part of its purpose as looking out for other people.”