MDA is thank­ful for the big Bri­tish con­tri­bu­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY SANDY RASHTY

THE WORS­EN­ING sit­u­a­tion in Is­rael gave added res­o­nance to Mon­day’s Ma­gen David Adom UK din­ner in cen­tral Lon­don, which raised £1.5 mil­lion for med­i­cal sup­plies and im­me­di­ate re­sponse kits.

Is­rael’s main emer­gency ser­vice re­lies on the di­as­pora to pro­vide onethird of its an­nual $150 mil­lion (£98 mil­lion) bud­get. Only three per cent is funded by the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment; the ma­jor­ity comes from the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies of those MDA at­tends to.

Speak­ing af­ter the din­ner, MDA UK chief ex­ec­u­tive, Daniel Burger, praised the sup­port of Bri­tish Jews, who have raised more money per capita for the char­ity than any other di­as­pora com­mu­nity.

“Of that third [from the di­as­pora], Bri­tish Jews raise 15 per cent of funds — around$7mil­lion­from250,000Jews.In Amer­ica, there are six mil­lion Jews and Jack White­hall with guests Jodie Sheldon, Ilana An­gel and Nat Ge­treu they raise around $30 mil­lion. Is­raelis give very lit­tle. They’re slowly start­ing to be­come phil­an­thropic. Is­raelis don’t know that MDA is sup­ported by the di­as­pora.”

For­mer Football As­so­ci­a­tion chair­manDavidBern­stein,anMDA­sup­porter, at­tended the din­ner in his ca­pac­ity as chair­manof theBri­tishRedCross,which has part­nered with MDA UK to de­liver first-aid train­ing to more than 15,000 peo­ple at Jewish schools, shuls and com­mu­nal groups across the coun­try.

Another of the 320 guests was Rev Mark Made­ley, pres­i­dent of Chris­tian Friends of MDA UK, who was ac­com­pa­nied by around a dozen of its back­ers. The Chris­tian Friends group is ap­proach­ing its 10th an­niver­sary and is on its way to­wards pur­chas­ing a fourth am­bu­lance for MDA.

MDA UK chair­man David Curtis told the din­ner: “We are in the midst of trou­bling times — par­tic­u­larly in Jerusalem. If trou­bles con­tinue or es­ca­late, we can be cer­tain that MDA is there, solely fo­cused on hu­man­i­tar­ian goals.”

The lighter side to the evening was a per­for­mance from co­me­dian Jack White­hall, who said he was hon­oured

to be as­so­ci­ated with the char­ity.

PHOTOS: JOHN RIFKIN

Daniel Burger ( far right) with David Bern­stein

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