The Meir Medical Center is the fourth-largest hospital in Israel, and from its location north of Tel Aviv, “it takes care of one million people in the region,” Fishbein said.
There are many Arab villages and communities in the area it serves. It was that kind of inclusive and integrated medical facility that led one Canadian to donate more than $1 million to the hospital last year, said Arie Raif, vice-chair and CEO of the Canadian Friends of Meir Medical Center.
Altogether, in the four years he’s headed the hospital’s local support group, Canadians have contributed more than $2.5 million to it. The bulk of the funds have gone to the children’s facility and the cardiology unit, where Canadian funds were used to acquire new equipment.
One of Raif’s primary tasks is to raise Meir’s profile in Canada, particularly among younger people.
The Canadian support group now has “a few thousand” supporters. The main event on the organization’s calendar is its annual gala in which the hospital’s Medal of Merit is awarded to worthy recipients.
This year’s event will take place April 6 and will see the Medal of Merit awarded to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Dr. Allan Abramovitch, a urologist at Scarborough Hospital and Jacqueline Abramovitch, a community activist, as well as [JSpace aficionada] Karen Mock, a human rights activist, and David Mock, a professor and former dean of the faculty of dentistry at the University of Toronto...I thought the award was supposed to go to worthy recipients.
Update: Justin Trudeau and the Federal Liberals are Preparing to Reduce Canada's Support for Israel
Update: This CJN article provides a window into Arie Raif's mindset and goes a long way to explaining this year's selection of honorees (h/t: LRC).