New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Jerusalem on Sunday, where he inaugurated the city’s new Magen David Adom station.
The station is named after Bloomberg’s father, the late William Henry Bloomberg. The new station was partly funded by Bloomberg’s personal fortune, along with generous donations of the American Friends of Magen David Adom organization.
In the nearly five decades since William Henry Bloomberg passed away, the same year in which the previous MDA station in Jerusalem was opened, Jerusalem’s population has grown many fold and diversified, and Magen David Adom’s Jerusalem Region has become the busiest of all MDA regions.
Bloomberg was received by Magen David Adom Director General Eli Bin, MDA President Prof. Yehuda Skornik, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Israel’s chief rabbis and Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat. Bloomberg affixed the mezuzah at the entrance to the building, and this was followed by a special inauguration ceremony.
Prof. Skornik said during the ceremony, “Respect for parents is the most basic commandment that makes us human. This is the commandment that separates us from the other species on earth. Our parents sacrifice a lot for us during in their lives, and we ask ourselves all our lives whether we are worthy of their great investment. Mr. Bloomberg does, has done and will continue to do so much for the Jews in his country and great city. But tonight, at the inauguration of this structure which will be used to save the lives of many Jews, here in the Holy City and in Israel in general, Bloomberg does for his father, William Henry Bloomberg, and responds to his father’s investment in his son.”
Bloomberg himself also spoke during the ceremony and said, “For Marjorie and I, it is the most significant moment since we became donors for Magen David Adom. If it were not for our dear father, I do not think we would have been exposed to the many activities of this organization, which is unique in its ability, desire and purpose of its work for all nations and all countries without any distinction between nationalities. The new facilities in this new building are intended to serve the needs of the Magen David Adom organization, to serve the needs of blood donors in Israel and to bring the public closer to the MDA.”
“I am proud that my father’s name will be forever associated with the leading medical organization in the world - Magen David Adom in Israel,” Bloomberg added. “Thank you all: the people involved, the organization’s management and the precious donors.”
The new William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station has been renovated and expanded to factor in the vast growth of the population. It is built to meet modern engineering standards in the event of an earthquake as well as threats of conventional and non-conventional war. The new station is a modern and spacious facility that will serve Jerusalem and its residents for generations to come by making it easier and more comfortable for MDA’s heroic staff and volunteers to do their job.
In addition to upgrading and renovating the original building and adding a new five-story wing, the new station includes a blood donation center, separate sheltered parking for dozens of ambulances, a visitors' center and a conference center.