A Special Trip to Israel
During President’s Week, I had the pleasure, along with Cheryl Bier, to represent Bnai Zion in Israel at the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Bnai Zion has been a member of this prestigious organization for many years and we feel privileged to represent our members in the important work done by the Conference of Presidents. They are the official spokespeople for foreign policy, representing all major organizations in Washington and around the World.
On Friday, February 24th, Cheryl, board members Shelly Kilcoyne, Sheryl Safran, and I had the privilege of going to Ma’aleh Adumim, a community with whom
we have an extremely close relationship. We dedicated a brand new park in memory of Mel Parness (Former Executive Vice President Emeritus of Bnai Zion). The ceremony was very moving. We were honored that Mel’s daughter, Bari, along with some other family and friends were there for this tremendous and meaningful occasion.
On Sunday, February 26th, we continued our trip, joined by board member Josh Katzen, and went to visit both of our projects in Haifa. We had a chance to meet with Dr. Amnon Rofe, the CEO of the Bnai Zion Medical Center, and learn about all of the new innovative programs in which they are involved. Voted the best medium sized hospital in all of Israel, BZMC is truly a great place and we feel honored that it bears our name. From there we went to Ahava Village for Children & Youth where we got to see the emergency shelter that has been built to protect the young boys and girls who have to be removed from their homes for safety reasons.
It is really quite unbelievable and leaves one with a strong feeling of satisfaction that we are major benefactors to Ahava Village.
On Monday, February 27th, we visited the David Yellin Academic College of Education,
a college which is known as the official teacher certification university in all of Israel. They train many people in the country and the population is approximately 80% Jewish and 20% Muslim. You get the sense of real racial harmony when you walk on the campus of David Yellin. From there we went to the Israel Elwyn campus where we visited the newly built Cultural Center, a wing dedicated by George & Irina Schaeffer (Chairman of the Board) and got a fascinating tour of the facility. We then renewed our pledge to help them raise the money they need to continue to make their facility a state-of-the-art institution in Israel.
I strongly encourage all of you to come and visit our projects. They are truly inspirational and life changing. Bnai Zion will continue to fund humanitarian projects to make certain that every single person in Israel can receive the social services to which they are entitled.
The Honorees of our upcoming Labor Gala visit 2 of our projects:
A Special Breakfast Reception
On Wednesday, November 16, we hosted an informational Breakfast Reception featuring Hon. Benny Kashriel, Mayor of Ma’aleh Adumim and Hon. Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York. Stephen Savitsky, National President of the Foundation served as the master of ceremonies. The event was attended by Jewish leadership from the New York area including Bnai Zion board members. Consul General Dayan presented a broad overview of Israel. Mayor Kashriel provided a moving description of Ma’Aleh Adumim and its needs. Cheryl Bier, Executive Vice President of Bnai Zion moderated a question and answer session.
Click here to see more photos
A Letter from our President...
As we prepare for the New Year 5777, we at Bnai Zion are very excited about the future. This past year was a year of transition in which we moved to our new address on Broadway and 39th Street.
We are extremely optimistic as we look to the future and under the leadership of our Executive Vice President, Cheryl Bier, we
have great plans for the new year. We will continue to work closely with our projects in Israel and help them achieve their goals for the coming year. Our commitment to the State of Israel and humanitarian causes is stronger today than ever. Although Bnai Zion has been around for 108 years, it feels like we are just starting. The enthusiasm in our office with all of our employees is infectious. I urge all of you to join us in our noble work, which I know will produce extraordinary results in the coming year.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
Stephen J. Savitsky, National President
Stephen J. Savitsky Named President
New York, June 2, 2016 -- David H. Eisenberg,President of Bnai Zion, announced at the recent Board of Directors meeting that he will be stepping down from the position effective immediately. Mr. Eisenberg stated, "Having accomplished my
personal goals for the Bnai Zion Foundation, I believe that it is now time for a new president with their own goals and ideas."
After a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors, Stephen Savitsky, First Vice President, succeeds Mr. Eisenberg as National President effective June 1, 2016. Mr. Eisenberg will remain on the Board and the Executive Committee.
Mr. Savitsky is excited about the opportunity to expand the support for the people of Israel. Mr. Savitsky stated, “I am deeply honored to assume the position as president of Bnai Zion; it is one of the oldest Zionist organizations in the Diaspora. Their projects in Israel are outstanding and they contribute much needed social services to those most in need in Israel. I look forward to adding new board members and building on the legacy of such giants as Mel Parness z”l, Jack Grunspan z”l, Chairman George Schaeffer and David Eisenberg.”
Mr. Savitsky has a long and distinguished history with his involvement in the Jewish community. He is the former President and Chairman of the Board of the Orthodox Union. Mr. Savitsky has also served as Chairman of Community and Synagogue Services, Personnel, Conventions and Kashrus Division of the OU. He has held many additional leadership positions in the Jewish community, including President of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway; President of Congregation Ansche Chesed in Hewlett, Long Island, NY; and Chairman of the Board of Mesivta Ohr Torah, in Forest Hills, NY.
Bnai Zion thanks David Eisenberg for his generosity and many years of service to the organization. We also look forward to working with Stephen Savitsky in his new role as president, and are confident that his many years of leadership experience will not only enhance our humanitarian mission, but the organization as a whole.
Through the Lens
Seeing the projects we fund through the lens of a photographer and witnessing first hand, testimonials of those lives that have been quite literally transformed because of Bnai Zion’s efforts, has given me an even greater appreciation for the daily challenges and importance of Bnai Zion’s work.
Interviewing the patients, students and their parents really added a deeper perspective to the ongoing connection and loving relationships with the larger Israeli projects and our hundreds of Colleagues there. We wish to thank our colleagues, staff and volunteers that turn our support into cutting-edge medical care and life-saving surgeries, transforming therapies for children and youth and bring music and culture to venues that had none.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Remarks at the Conference of Presidents
The annual Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations began Sunday, February 14th at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. In attendance were National President, David Eisenberg, Executive Vice President, Cheryl Bier, and First Vice President, Stephen Savitsky. Participants at the opening night program were addressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Below is a transcript of his remarks.
First I want to say that the people of Israel feel the grief of stricken families, whether by terror or as we've had today, a horrific accident, road accident. And we send our condolences to the families of those killed, and of course our hopes for the speedy recovery of the wounded.
We live in an era where there are two parallel but contradictory trends regarding the State of Israel. The first one is all too familiar to you and that's the ongoing multinational hostility to Israel. You see it at the UN; you see it at the UN Human Rights Council – I can't believe there is such a term that is so self-contradictory: UN Human Rights Council; the ICC; regrettably the EU. We've had some efforts to change at least the EU. But we know that in many of these multinational forums, Israel is singled out. I hope that one day we'll receive a double standard because right now, we're not enjoying a double standard; we are suffering a triple standard. There is one standard for the democracies – well, there's one standard for the dictatorships. They're usually exempt. The other is for the democracies and there's still a third standard for the democracy called Israel. I think you're all familiar with that and in some senses it's getting worse.
Bnai Zion Medical Center Ranked #1 in Country
A recent survey of 11,000 people conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Health concluded that among the medium size hospitals (200-800 beds), the Bnai Zion Medical Center received the highest score for patient satisfaction with 81%. Hospitals were also evaluated based on their physical conditions. The Bnai Zion Medical Center and Hadassah were ranked first in the medium size category as well.
We Care About Protecting Israel
The CEO of the Bnai Zion Medical Center, Dr. Amnon Rofe, has said, "Unfortunately, the threat of attack is significant. We've begun construction of a new protected underground emergency facility, fortified against nuclear, biological and chemical attack, that will help us save lives - but we need additional funding to complete it. Please make our priority yours."
Watch this short video in which Dr. Rofe discusses the current situation.
Contribute to the Bnai Zion Medical Center by clicking here.
Shopping Online? Amazon.com Will Donate to Bnai Zion
Amazon.com has a program where they donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to a charity of your choice - and Bnai Zion is one of their charities. Just go to smile.amazon.com and select Bnai Zion Foundation, then continue to shop.
You'll have double satisfaction: You get the products you want, and our projects in Israel will benefit.
Adopt a Family in Ahava Village with Our Mishpachton Program
With our program, Adopt-a-Family / Mishpachton in Ahava Village for Children & Youth, you can support one of the fifteen families in this refuge for abused children with a continual monthly contribution. Learn how the mishpachton provides nurturing care and encouragement to its residents. Click here for more information.
-- Shimon Peres, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, February 1988