International Activities



Anthony Berkowitz has been elected as the new president of American Friends succeeding co-presidents Dr. Joy Zagoren and Amir Sternhell. There has been a marked increase in activities in the N.Y. area. Dr. David Greenberg, the Director of the Hospital’s Community Mental Health Center, was recently in N.Y. to speak before several groups. Dr. Greenberg co-authored the book ‘Sanity and Sanctity” together with senior psychiatrist at the Center, Prof. Eli Witztum. The book discusses their 20 years of work treating the ultra orthodox community. Dr. Greenberg spoke at a special evening organized by the American Friends of Herzog. He also made professional presentations at the N.Y. Academy of Science, Ohel Family Services, Maimonides Hospital and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services of New York. Dr. Greenberg was a keynote speaker at the Nefesh Annual Conference in December. (The book ‘Sanity and Sanctity’ is published by Yale University Press and is available for sale directly from the Hospital, our office in N.Y., through or at your local book store).


Dr. Yehezkel Caine, Hospital Director, and Trauma Center Director Dr. Danny Brom, have had numerous speaking engagements and meetings on recent visits to N.Y. Successful fund raising art shows featuring various Israeli artists have also recently been held in Greenwich, Conn. and Great Neck, N.Y.






The annual concert organized by the Toronto Friends of Herzog Hospital this year raised funds to establish the Eli and Renee Rubinstein Terror Victims Fund. This fund will help provide psychological trauma counseling through the Latner Psychotrauma Center. This is a natural extension, as the Latner family, who originally established the Center, are also from Toronto. As he did at last year’s concert, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, the Honorable Haim Divon, served as the patron of the event. This year’s concert was a sellout and the most successful to date.




Just before going to press, we received notification that the UJA Federation of Toronto has allocated a major grant to the Trauma Center. The allocation will support our school safety net program to help children in schools, to hire additional therapists and support a special fund that the Hospital has established to provide services for people who cannot afford needed counseling.




In a unique program, two synagogues in Toronto, Beth Haminyan and Beth Sholom, joined together to honor Rabbi Jacob Kirshenblatt. This event was organized to honor Rabbi Kirshenblatt’s decades of service to the community. Rabbi Kirshenblatt personally chose the Hospital’s Trauma Center as the beneficiary of the fund. Sadly, shortly after this function was held, Rabbi Kirshenblatt passed away at the age of 98.


The Community so appreciated the impact their fund-raising had on the Trauma Center that they have decided again this year to organize a joint function to raise money for the Trauma Center.




Dear Dr. Brom,


My name is Robyn Suskin and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. I recently celebrated my Bat-Mitzvah – it was a wonderful event in my life. I cannot help thinking about how horrible it must be for the children and people of Israel during these very hard times. I think the work you and your hospital do for children is wonderful! I am, therefore, sending you this donation that is part of the money I received for my Bat Mitzvah. I wish you all success in the future and I hope that peace may come soon to Israel.




Newly elected president of the British Friends of Herzog, Tony Gold, recently visited the Hospital to learn of the latest developments. This was part of his plan to increase the activities in the U.K., bringing on new people and restoring the group to its pre-eminence when Rabbanit Sarah Herzog, wife of the first Chief Rabbi of Israel and former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog, had built up a very active group of supporters in the U.K. Plans are being developed to return the U.K. activities to their former historic place. Starting off the new activities, the New North London Synagogue recently chose to support Hospital projects through their annual appeals over the next two years.




A contingent of over 150 representatives from Temple Sinai and the Los Angeles Jewish Community led by Mr. Parvig Nazarian, and Rabbi David Wolpe, attended a special ceremony at Herzog Hospital. The Hospital was presented with a major donation from funds raised by the synagogue to help underwrite the opening of the Hospital’s Trauma Crisis Center.




Two shipping containers recently arrived at the Hospital to off-load a large quantity of special hospital beds and defibrillators. The Hospital’s Dutch Friends group successfully obtained the donation of the equipment as well as its free shipment. Special thanks go to Mrs. Els Denneboom-Frank, President of Dutch Friends, Mr. Joop de Jong, Jeannine and Isaac Brilleman and their son Jack.




Long time friend of the Hospital, Maria Finkle, routinely opens her home in Palm Beach, Florida, to host programs on behalf of the Hospital. Two exceptional and successful evenings were recently held featuring Dr. Danny Brom, the Head of the Hospital’s Psychotrauma Center, who spoke about the current situation in Israel and how the Trauma Center is working to meet Israeli’s psychological needs, and Dr. David Greenberg, Director of the Community Mental Health Center, who discussed his work in treating the ultra orthodox community. Dr. Brom was also the featured speaker at the home of Dr. David and Myrna Gross in Boca Raton.




The Iranian Mashadi Community and Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York have raised funds to help those affected by the trauma in Israel. Herzog’s Psychotrauma Center has been the recipient of two generous grants from both of these organizations to directly benefit the victims of terror.




Several years ago, as a result of the program to support volunteers coming to Herzog through the Internationaler Bund of Germany, and thanks to the contacts of the former Director General of Herzog Hospital, Prof. Jacob Menczel and his wife Lilly, a group of friends got together in Frankfurt to begin raising funds for the Hospital. Since then, the German Friends of Herzog Hospital have conducted several events each year which have raised significant funds to benefit programs at the Hospital. Under the guidance of founder, Mrs. Elisabeth Oswalt and current president, Dr. Ingrid Grafin zu Solms-Wildenfels, they continue to develop new opportunities for the Hospital. Most recently, Mrs. Maria Holz has established a major endowment fund to help the needy at Herzog receive the best possible health care.



Toronto Federation Underwrites Nursery School Program


Studies by the staff of the Trauma Center have indicated that psychological trauma already begins affecting children of nursery school age! Based on the school intervention program the Center is operating throughout Israel, the Center has now developed a specially designed program in nursery schools. This was created to train teachers to identify and help youngsters who are having problems triggered by exposure to terrorist attacks or knowing someone, a close family member or friend, who was impacted by an attack. The Jewish Federation of Toronto has stepped forward to underwrite a pilot project to work with the teachers, parents and children in 50 nursery schools and kindergartens.


Comedy Night


The fifth annual Comedy Night entitled “We All Need Something to Laugh About” was received with a large audience roaring and chuckling. This special young leadership event was developed to get younger people involved with the Toronto Friends group, and each year more new people do get involved supporting the work of Herzog. This year’s event really was a laughing matter with great comedians, a greater attendance and more funds raised than ever before. Everybody is already laughing in anticipation of the 2004 event.




This year’s Annual Gala Concert and Silent Auction event honored Bob Rae and Arlene Perly Rae. Mr. Rae was former Premier of Ontario and both he and his wife are very active in the Jewish community and supporting Israel. Funds raised from the event went to METIV, the Hospital’s Walk-In Crisis Center, and to provide funds for those who require therapy, but cannot afford it. The audience was privileged to hear from the evening’s Honorary Patron, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, Haim Divon, and Herzog Director General Dr. Yehezkel Caine. The concert performance by the students of The Royal Conservatory of Music and the internationally renowned Amy Sky left the audience calling for encores.


New York


Inspired by a new president Tony Berkowitz, and a new Director of the American Friends, Shari Fleschner-Albert, innovative programs and increased publicity are planned for the N.Y. area. Through an integrated strategy, combining active board participation with new committees, events to create public awareness and creative promotional efforts, including press releases, radio spots and direct mail, the work of Herzog Hospital will be reaching a much broader audience in the greater NY area.


A six month breakfast series of Financial Planning seminars for top business professionals at the N.Y. Harmonie Club was initiated in January 2004. The American Friends first speaking tour of 2004 features Dr. Shai Shoham, a brain research specialist from Herzog Hospital. Dr. Shoham’s speaking engagements include a brunch hosted by New York board member Maria Finkle at her Palm Beach, Florida home; a presentation at the New York Academy of Sciences, organized by former American Friends Co-President, Dr. Joy Zagoren; parlor meetings in Long Island at the home of long time Herzog supporter Dr. Sally Olshin, and in Manhattan at the home of board member Laurie Schwartz. Continuing their relationship with the Hospital, the Iranian American Jewish Federation of N.Y. have once again made a generous contribution to support the Hospital’s work in helping victims of terror.




At the annual meeting held at the Palm Beach home of Maria Finkle, Dr. David Greenberg, Director of the Hospital’s Community Mental Health Center, discussed the effective work of the Center in counseling those in the ultra orthodox community in coping with various psychological problems These events are increasingly successful each year. Dr. Greenberg’s new book, “Sanity and Sanctity”, relates his unique experiences of 20 years of providing psychological counseling for the ultra orthodox community in Israel.


Los Angels


A gala concert and art show was held at Temple Emanuel in Los Angeles to raise funds for the Hospital’s Trauma Center. A combination of cantors and Israeli singers performed at the series of concerts held over a weekend. Unique art from a group of Israeli artists was exhibited for sale. Special programs were produced for the general public as well as for children. The Trauma Center’s work also received support from the Los Angeles Jewish Federation.




Under the leadership of new British Friends’ Chairman Tony Gold, a new board has been established, with many members under the age of 45. Several meetings have already been held to increase the activity in the UK. Stephen Schwartz, International Director of Resource Development, presented updates to the members of the New North London Synagogue and the Radlett Synagogue on the work of the Community Mental Health and Psychotrauma Centers. The congregations have been regular supporters of the Hospital’s work, providing funding for victims of terror attacks and for the hiring of Russian speaking therapists.