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ARMDI - American Red Magen David for Israel

By Craig von Buseck Contributing Writer – Twenty people injured in a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus are evacuated by the Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance service -- Israel's version of the Red Cross -- to four hospitals in the capital. In another part of the city a woman is rushed to the hospital to give birth to her first child. First on the scene within minutes, MDA paramedics and emergency response personell perform their life-saving services at every medical emergency in Israel -- including births, heart attacks, roadside accidents, and acts of terrorism. Therefore, MDA requires a fleet of new ambulances each year, hundreds of liters of blood, and a vast array of medical equipment. All of these items are donated through the generous support of a group of compassionate people called ARMDI -- American Red Magen David for Israel.

In addition to donating approximately 80 ambulances every year to the MDA, ARMDI also supports major funding projects, such as the MDA Emergency Medical Service Telecommunication System, and the upgrading of the computerization of the MDA Blood Services.

But ARMDIS most significant accomplishment has been constructing and equipping the MDA National Blood Services Center in Ramat Gan, at a cost of more than $36 million. This blood facility now supplies 100% of the blood requirements of the Israel Defense Forces and 98% of the blood needs of all the hospitals.

ARMDI raises funds to help the people of Israel in the follwing ways:

  • By supplying and equiping MDA with ambulances, bloodmobiles and cardiac rescue ambulances serving all hospitals and communities throughout Israel.

  • By providing supplies and equipment for the MDA Blood Bank and MDA Fractionation Institute, which comprise the MDA National Blood Services Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, and the MDA Emergency Medical Centers located throughout Israel.

  • By providing scholarships and education funds to train MDA Paramedics, laboratory technicians, and scientists.

With the assistance of volunteer medical consultants in the fields of Transfusion and Emergency Medicine, ARMDI plans to help MDA upgrade its services throughout Israel, which would maximize the number of lives saved by MDA.

ARMDI's History

The first seeds of Magen David Adom in Israel were planted at a meeting held in Philadelphia in October, 1918 in the presence of David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Henrietta Szold. There was great concern that the Jewish brigade of Palestine needed help and it was decided to organize a Magen David Adom -- Red Star of David organization to help both the Jewish Brigade, as well as the settlers in Palestine.

In 1930, Magen David Adom was officially chartered and recognized as an emergency lifesaving service. MDA became a vital emergency medical force over the years, and in 1950 the Israel Knesset voted that MDA would be officially recognized as an equivalent to a Red Cross Society to serve the people and the world accordingly.

In 1940, a dedicated, concerned group of Americans realized the importance of Magen David Adom in Palestine in helping to save the lives of the settlers, as well as the members of the Haganah. Under the auspices of the Bnai Zion organization, and particularly, the leadership of Herman Z. Quittman and Dr. Harris Levine, American Red Magen David for Palestine was incorporated in the State of New York to give medical assistance to the people of Israel.

The organization became affiliated with Magen David Adom to help upgrade the MDA Emergency Medical and Blood Services. The assistance that ARMDI gave at the time was vital in the struggle with the British and the Arabs.

Today, the ARMDI National Office in New York City is the official headquarters of American Red Magen David for Israel in the United States. In order to strengthen and increase ARMDIs role in the U.S., ARMDIs National Office organized 4 major regions, in Florida, California, the Midwest and Michigan, plus more than 150 Chapters-at-Large in various communities throughout the country.

Through membership enrollment, fundraising and awareness of the life-saving work of MDA throughout Israel, funds are raised by national direct mail campaigns, major gift acquisition, and legacy & deferred giving programs.

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Craig von BuseckCraig von Buseck is Ministries Director of Send him your comments on this article. More from Craig on

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