Pres. Isaac Herzog and Michal Herzog visit children hospitalized at Shaare Zedek
Pres. Isaac Herzog and Michal Herzog visit children hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Haim Zach/GPO

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog on Tuesday visited children hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

In honor of the Jewish holiday of Purim, the couple distributed Purim baskets (mishlochei manot) to children who are expecting to celebrate the holiday in the hospital.

The President and the First Lady were accompanied by Shaare Zedek Director General Prof. Ofer Marin, Pediatric Nephrology Institute director Prof. Yaacov Frishberg, and Tikva Umarpe NGO's CEO Dvora Agasi. At the Pediatric Hemodialysis Unit, the singer Yishai Ribo performed his song, "Morning will Rise," (Boker Ya'aleh) and moved everyone in attendance.

In the spirit of the holiday, the President and the First Lady dressed up as doctors at the Medical Center. The pair visited the excited children in the different wards, heard from them about their treatment, wished them a speedy recovery, and handed out the Purim baskets that they had brought.

Later, President Herzog and the First Lady, together with Prof. Marin, met Shaare Zedek's coronavirus teams from all parts of society and heard about the challenges that they have faced over the past two years.

The President addressed the medical teams and said: "The multiculturalism here at this hospital shows that everyone was created in the image of G-d, and this is what we see here in the hospital wards. People greatly appreciate what you are doing. The difficult and genuine work of saving lives is done here. I congratulate you on 120 years of mighty work. You serve not only Jerusalem, but also the whole of Israel."

The First Lady added: "One of the most especially moving things here is your team pride. I know that you have had two difficult years, on a personal level, but I think that one of the things that led to medical success is also your sense of togetherness, both in happy days and in harder days."

Dr. Yigal Helviz, a senior intensive care physician, said: "Our nurses and medical teams have worked very hard over the past two years. At the end of the day, we have managed to save many patients, and this is a point of pride for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. It's hard work, no doubt. Our medical teams spent many long hours in their protective suits."

Daphna Kamer, social worker at the Shaare Zedek Department of Emergency Medicine, said on the occasion of Social Work Day: "We are responsible for the emotional experience of the patients and their families. This was a challenging period, to put it mildly. Our team and I experience this as great work. Working with a team operating 12 hours straight at full gas, together with high points, such as screening a wedding for a father who was hospitalized as his son got married, or other things, made me feel every day, at the end of the day: I have another 20 good things to live for. We gave part of this experience with the patients and their families."

Visiting sick children at Shaare Zedek
Visiting sick children at Shaare Zedek Haim Zach/GPO

Visiting sick children at Shaare Zedek
Visiting sick children at Shaare Zedek Haim Zach/GPO