Wednesday, December 16, 2009

6th candle: The Lights Won't Go Out in Afula

The 8 blogs of Chanukah. Each night a new blog from the community of Congregation B'nai Israel.

Tonight, the sixth blog of Chanukah is brought to you by Emek Medical Center - Hospital of Peace, located in Afula, which is a partner region with Fairfield County.  In cross-communal partnership, with the local Federation, we have had an ongoing relationship with Afula and with the Emek Medical Center.  More information on how you can contact them is found at the end of tonight's blog.  Here is their Chanukah message, and some information about their work from Dr. Orna Blondheim, Director.

The Lights Won't Go Out
A candle in the wind; violent, whipping, swirling gusts … moving rocks and water before its mighty force.  People cower before the maelstrom, covering their eyes, turning their backs so as not to see, not to hear … waiting for quiet … when it is safe to raise their heads.  Not only does the single candle inexplicably continue to burn, but another and another join it – standing defiantly in the face of the onslaught.  When the first should have been blown into oblivion, now eight glow; challenging, mocking the forces set against them.  Darkness should have prevailed, but the flickering lights would not go out.  Those little flames would not submit to the power that should have engulfed them.  Many have tried to explain this improbable resilience.  Many pray for stronger winds … instead of simply enjoying the light in the dark.  Those who choose to move closer to the stubborn flames are treated to warmth and illuminations of wonders within the light.  Move closer to the radiance or turn away, the choice is yours.  When the winds die down and the dust settles and people are no longer afraid to raise their heads – they will see that the candles are still burning.  Within that glow is a life force, more obstinate than any tempest.

We are an infinitesimal component of the flame and we know that you too have felt the warmth.  Stay close and together let's stand firm against the winds.

Dear friends,
It is most encouraging to see the improved facilities and 

expanded services that Emek has achieved over the past 
several years. Our growing family of friends around the 
world has played an important role in our ability to better 
serve the people of Israel. Since October 2000 the trauma 
from unprecedented terror has affected us all. Emek 
Medical Center has stood firm in the eye of the hurricane 
and managed to maintain its standing as an island of sanity. 
We have proven over the years that all the people of our 
region, Jews and Arabs alike may depend upon us to treat 
every patient with unprejudiced dedication. Despite the 
strains on our limited resources, we have, with essential 
help from our friends, been able to meet some of the many 
challenges we face and we hope that more of you will be 
joining our family.

I am so proud of the entire staff of this institution, as it is 

thanks to their dedication and sensitivities that Emek has 
repeatedly been voted #1 in patient satisfaction. Despite 
the loving care we provide and even with the completion 
of our West Tower, approximately 50% of our patients are 
still hospitalized in sub-standard conditions. Israel’s health 
care establishment is in the midst of an acute economic crisis. 
Every hospital has been affected and Emek’s ability to maintain 
its level of services is being eroded. The immense challenge 
facing us today is to continue growing while increasing our 
level of efficiency without negatively affecting our high medical 
standards or our excellent patient relationships. Most pressing 
of all is our need for more operating theaters. Our current surgical 
facilities cannot cope efficiently with the normal caseload of a 
growing population and every mass casualty terror event only 
exacerbates an already critical situation. Plans are now drawn 
for a new Surgical Complex that will eventually include 12 
ultra-modern Operating Rooms, a new Sterile Supply Unit 
and various surgical departments. Our primary focus, in order 
to answer immediate needs, is to first build and equip 4 — 6 
new Operating Rooms. Funding will determine the rate of 
further progress. We salute all of our friends who have joined 
us in our quest .to provide better healthcare for our people.

Click here for more information about the Emek Medical Center, 
or to offer support.

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