Baltimore, MD - Nov. 14, 2019 - The idea to open Laniado Hospital (aka Sanz Medical Center) was actually conceptualized during the Holocaust in 1944. The voluntary, not-for-profit hospital in Kiryat Sanz, Israel - that serves a regional population of over 500,000 in Netanya and the Sharon plain - came into fruition because of a vow made by the-then-39-year-old scion of the famous Sanz rabbinic dynasty, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, the first Klausenberger Rebbe.
Video by Avi Dear - Direction/Artwork by MalkaDesign
Surviving his wife and 11 children who, r”l, were among those who perished in Auschwitz, Rabbi Halberstam faced death while on a forced 20 kilometer/day (~12.5 mile/day) march from Warsaw to the infamous Dachau death camp in the scorching August sun. Not able to maintain the required pace, he was shot in the shoulder by an S.S. guard and lost a considerable amount of blood. As he was losing his strength, he made a vow: “Hashem, if I merit to survive, I will garner all my energies to build a hospital in the Holy Land where every human being will receive the same dedicated medical care irrespective of nationality or creed.”
Just then, Rabbi Halberstam noticed a tree with succulent green leaves along the road within his reach. He tore off a large leaf and placed it on his wound to stop the bleeding. His vow was actualized in June, 1976, when Laniado Hospital opened in the fast-growing city of Netanya, that had, as of yet, no hospital.
Today, Laniado Hospital boasts 450 beds, 54 departments, and 1900 employees, serving a critical role as a triage hospital tending to the outcomes of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks, wounded soldiers and overall health care needs. It has also developed an emergency preparedness protocol that regularly updates surgeons, trauma specialists, cardiologists and pediatricians on their roles during emergency situations. As a hospital that practices halacha without compromise to professionalism, it prides itself in believing in both the quality and sanctity of life, treating all patients with care and compassion.
Although Baltimore and Netanya are 5,821 miles apart, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and Laniado Hospital couldn’t be closer, philosophically and spiritually. The two hospitals became “sister hospitals”. In fact, about a year ago, they signed a Twinned Hospital Agreement in Jerusalem. This arrangement has the backing of Deputy Minister of Health, MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, who believes that strengthening cooperation between the health system in Israel and those around the world will contribute significantly both to the system and the patients. Present at the signing were: Rabbi Litzman; Nadav Chen, CEO of Laniado Hospital; and, Dr. Jonathan Ringo, President/COO of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Dr. Ringo expressed at this ceremony, "I am moved by the dedication of the Laniado staff, which cares for every individual, no matter who he or she is.”
Tonight, Sunday, November 24, you have an opportunity to join the Baltimore community initiative to help fund Laniado’s new NICU - projected to open in March - while enjoying the powerful voices of Avraham Albrecht, Netanel Hershtik, Yoni Rose, and Benjamin Warschawski, at Beth Tfiloh, 7 p.m., in “Concert with a Cause”. Laniado Hospital’s NICU is presently ranked as one of the three best NICUs in Israel, saving lives of hundreds of infants annually. It hopes to earn first place honor with the new equipment this concert will help purchase.
“Our doctors come from the emunah that we are not the ones who bring life or take life – only Hakadosh Baruch Hu who created the world, can,” notes Laniado Hospital’s Executive Vice President of Development & Foreign Affairs, Meir Mark. “We fight for each patient, whether they are 30 or 95. The Klausenberger Rebbe said this is what we should do. We are the only hospital in Israel that has three geriatric departments. It’s our tafkid (duty) to give the right care to our patients.”
Recently, Baltimoreans Mosie and Emily Treuhaft witnessed that exemplary care and concern, when their ill 2-year-old great-niece who lives in Israel was in need of a replacement cord for her heart monitor machine on a Friday evening.
“We walked over to Laniado Hospital on Shabbos to see if they had an extra cord,” recalls Mosie. “They couldn’t find one that matched her machine, but they did offer to hook up the child to a hospital monitor and provide a room for her mother so she can get a good night’s sleep. Quite impressive!”
“We have a special heart and soul and compassion; it’s part of Laniado’s staff’s being,” concludes Mr. Mark, who notes that Laniado is the only hospital in Israel that has never closed due to a strike. “As our founder said, ‘The mosdos (Torah institutions) are kodesh (holy), but Laniado Hospital is Kodesh Kodashim (the Holy of Holies).’”
Hope to see you at the concert! To buy tickets or make a donation in honor of Laniado Hospital, please visit: https://www.rayze.it/LaniadoConcert or mail a check to: Laniado Hospital, 261 East 35th Street, Suite 803, New York, NY 10001.