MDA is thankful for the big British contribution
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.
Daniel Burger ( far right) with David Bernstein