THE Gandel Rehabilitation Centre at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem has been dedicated in an event attended by dignitaries from Israel, Australia and the US, including Australia’s ambassador to Israel Paul Griffiths. John and Pauline Gandel and their daughter Lisa Thurin were also in attendance.
Jerusalem has the largest elderly, and the poorest, population in Israel and is in dire need of rehabilitation facilities. According to Dr Tamar Elram, director of Hadassah Mount Scopus, “There are currently only 38 rehabilitation beds to accommodate the more than 1.2 million residents in the greater Jerusalem area.”
The centre will provide 132 in-patient beds and cutting-edge rehabilitation and research facilities, including occupational therapy, physical therapy and hydrotherapy departments, advanced robotics, technological incubators, laboratories, clinics and outpatient areas.
The centre is being built with government support from the State of Israel and existing international philanthropic commitments, alongside the generous gift from the Gandel family and Gandel Foundation.
Addressing those gathered at the event, John Gandel noted that the Australian Jewish community is one of Israel’s staunchest advocates, saying, “You have one of the best allies in the world in Australia,” before expressing his honour at being involved.
“We’re here to note and celebrate the construction and the development of a very important and badly needed piece of medical care infrastructure,”he said.
“We’re confident that the centre will benefit not only the people of Jerusalem … but the whole country.”
Hadassah Australia president Ron Finkel AM said, “With this transformative and legacy gift to Israel, the Gandel family is delivering on its vision and commitment to the people of Israel. Their gift, the largest single gift from the Australian Jewish community to Israel, is providing a 21st century expression of the spirit and values of Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah movement and of her famous words, ‘Dream, and when you dream, dream big’.
“We are incredibly proud to be actively helping to deliver Australia’s gift to Jerusalem – the Gandel Rehabilitation Centre.”
The Gandel Rehabilitation Centre will service elderly, disease-related, accident, injury and stroke victims, as well as IDF soldiers, civilian casualties of terror attacks and COVID patients requiring rehab support.