A milestone gift by Australian philanthropists John and Pauline Gandel to help build a much-needed medical rehabilitation centre in Jerusalem represents the largest-ever donation from Australia to Israel.
As we report this week, the donation is so magnanimous, it surpasses the extremely generous $20 million made by the late Sydney philanthropist Millie Phillips to Tel Aviv University in 2017.
This latest grant – to a project identified by Hadassah Australia – will enable the Gandel Rehabilitation Centre to be built at Hadassah Hospital’s Mount Scopus campus overlooking Jerusalem.
The state-of-the-art facility will provide access to premium post-hospital care, not only to the 1.2 million people of Greater Jerusalem, but to people all over Israel.
The services offered will enable Israelis in need of post-hospital rehabilitation to recuperate without having to travel long distances, as they now do, risking their recoveries.
Dalia Itzik, chair of the Hadassah Medical Organisation board, summed it up as “Australia’s gift to Israel”. To which we can add that it is a practical demonstration of Ahavat Yisrael (love for one’s fellow Jews) from one of the world’s most supportive Zionist communities.
It’s been a big month of announcements from the Gandel Foundation. Last week, their landmark Holocaust Awareness and Knowledge Survey revealed important information about Australians and their knowledge of the Shoah.
Whether helping to deepen our understanding of the horrors of the past or aiding the future health in our Jewish homeland, the Gandels have been there for the Jewish people.
While their generosity is inspirational, of course not everyone can be a Gandel in terms of the volume of their donation.
But that shouldn’t stop Jewish Australians of all income levels from doing just that little bit more this year. A great opportunity comes this weekend, with JNF’s annual Green Sunday.
This year’s appeal focuses on the kibbutzim of Holit, Sufa, and Kerem Shalom, located just 1.5 km from the Gaza border.
Why not help JNF with your own special gift to Israel?