A new direction for MDA – The Australian Jewish News
The new Australian CEO of Friends of Magen David Adom (MDA), David Freed, wants to see the organization engage more with the local community.
Freed started in the role late last year after a successful business career.
“Part of the main reason I came here was to give back to the community,” he said.
“The other big thing is when you look at what MDA is doing in Israel, and you look at the people behind the name, you feel so proud of who they are.”
As the local organization supports MDA in Israel by raising funds for essential equipment, Freed saw “a missing link between Israel and Australia”.
To this end, he is overseeing the introduction of MDA first aid kits and free tuition for school students to foster a closer connection to the local community.
“MDA is at the forefront of first aid… and so we want to bring some of that back here and pass it on to our community so they better understand who we are, what we actually do, what our values are. ,” he said.
The organization has just launched a youth committee. A program will begin later this year to engage gap year participants taking MDA courses in Israel and keep them connected when they return.
“It’s going to allow young people to have a purpose when they go to the course and then come back here and be an advocate, an ambassador,” Freed said.
In other MDA news, Moriah College students held an MDA Day last year with a virtual challenge to travel from northern to southern Israel.
Using the school’s gym equipment to take on the challenge, the students ran 88 kilometers around the Golan Heights, rowed 110 kilometers around Lake Tiberias, cycled 156 kilometers from Haifa to Jerusalem and cycled 30 kilometers along the Jerusalem trail.
Nearly $4,000 was raised to purchase a defibrillator for an MDA ambulance in Israel.
“We commend Hillel House Captain Ben Lonstein for rallying support and organizing this very successful event, and the students for their participation,” MDA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, when MDA first responders were recently called to a serious traffic accident on Highway 4 in Israel, one of the first vehicles on the scene was a medicycle donated by Sydney donor, the late Bruce Block.
“Australian Friends of Magen David Adom are proud to play a crucial role in these emergencies by funding the purchase of ambulances and medicycles,” MDA said.
More info on MDA: magendavidadom.org.au or (02) 9358 2521.
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