(L-R) Pauline Gandel AC, John Gandel AC and their daughter Lisa Thurin at the site of The Gandel Rehabilitation Center in Jerusalem.
In early August, a significant event took place in Jerusalem. On the heights of Mount Scopus, on a site overlooking the city of Jerusalem on one side and the distant mountains of Moab in Jordan on the other, the 20,000 square metre Gandel Rehabilitation Center was dedicated in the presence of the Israeli Minister of Health, Nitzan Horowitz and John Gandel AC, Pauline Gandel AC, their daughter Lisa Thurin and a large number of dignitaries from Israel, Australia and the USA, including Australian Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Paul Griffiths.
The event was widely reported in Australian Jewish Media and The Jerusalem Post highlighting Mr Gandel’s beautiful words about the importance of the Australian Jewish community’s support for Israel.
John Gandel AC addresses the audience at a special luncheon following the naming ceremony of the Gandel Rehabilitation Center at Hadassah Mount Scopus.
Mr John Gandel AC stated,
When it comes to supporting the people and the State of Israel, we always saw it as our duty and obligation to strengthen the homeland and help this country. But please know - we are far from being unique. It is worth noting that the Jewish community of Australia is a strong advocate, supporter and defender of the State of Israel. Israel has one of the best allies in the world in Australia.
He also declared,
We are here to celebrate the construction and development of a very important and badly needed piece of medical care infrastructure. It will be a facility that will help countless people needing rehabilitation.
Further noted, Mr Gandel AC said:
(for me and my family) the need was absolutely clear. Jerusalem today is a city of some 1.2 million people, and it definitely deserves to have a first-class dedicated rehabilitation centre. Also, we are confident that the centre will benefit not only the people of Jerusalem but the whole country and that this will materially improve the quality of life for many people and their families. (L-R) John Gandel AC, Pauline Gandel AC, Israel’s Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Jorge Diener Executive Director Hadassah International at the unveiling.
The dedication plaque underscored the Gandel family’s passion, commitment, and dedication to the people of Israel. The ceremony concluded with a spontaneous rendition of “Me’al Pisgat Har Hatzofim” (From the summit of Mount Scopus), followed by a heart-warming chorus of “Jerusalem of Gold”.
At a celebratory lunch following the dedication, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon warmly thanked the Gandel family, stressing the importance of their support:
I am here on behalf of all the residents, the people of Jerusalem, to thank you for your tremendous contribution. Jerusalem is the heart of all the Jewish people around the world. You are helping to keep this heart beating strongly. The Gandel Rehabilitation Center is a milestone for medical care in Jerusalem.
The Gandel Rehabilitation Center, which is being built with significant support from the State of Israel and generous additional funding from the Gandel Family and the Gandel Foundation, will address a clear and evident gap in health delivery in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.
The 132-bed state-of-the-art facility, which, when completed will arguably be the largest dedicated rehabilitation facility in the whole of Middle East, will provide the people of Jerusalem with a comprehensive solution to decades of lack of acute rehabilitation care in their city.
Speaking from Melbourne after the dedication event, Hadassah Australia President Ron Finkel AM commented:
With this transformative and legacy gift to Israel, the Gandel family is delivering on its vision and commitment to the people of Israel. Their gift, the largest single gift from the Australian Jewish community to Israel, is providing a 21st century expression of the spirit and values of Henrietta Szold, the Founder of the Hadassah movement and of her famous words: “Dream, and when you dream – dream big”. We are incredibly proud to be actively helping to deliver Australia’s Gift to Jerusalem – the Gandel Rehabilitation Center”. (L-R) Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Hadassah Hospital Mt Scopus Director, Dr Tamar Elram, Gandel Foundation Director Lisa Thurin, Ambassador Paul Griffiths, CEO Gandel Foundation, Vedran Drakulic
Read more about the Gandel Rehabilitation Center
Please find below further pictures of the event.