Members of the late Chief Rabbi’s family join from around the world
A bloodmobile donated in memory of the late Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l was dedicated recently in a moving ceremony in Israel. The tribute – conceived following his untimely death in November 2020 – was unveiled following a fundraising drive that raised the £135,000 needed to make the purchase the vehicle. The life-saving vehicle will traverse the country to collect blood from up to 80 donors a day – with each unit split between three recipients, potentially saving thousands of lives each year
Members of Lord Sacks’ family joined with friends and Magen David Adom dignitaries at the newly opened MDA National Blood & Logistics Centre in Ramla, central Israel. An inscription on one side of the vehicle describes Lord Sacks as a “giant of world Jewry who’s impact crossed faiths and borders” and on the other side is a pertinent quote from Rabbi Sacks himsel: “At the heart of Judaism is the principle of the sanctity of life.”
Lady Elaine Sacks, who was joined at the occasion by her son Joshua, was presented with a specially commission mezuzah, a replica of those adoring the doorframes of the centre.
Lady Elaine commented, “To remember my dear husband in this life saving way, here in Eretz Yisrael – is so very special.”
Around 95 percent of Israel’s blood donations are collected by such mobile vehicles at schools, universities and other institutions, but some of the fleet is nearing two decades old and in need of urgent replacement. The Sacks Bloodmobile will eventually be stationed at MDA’s new state-of-the-art blood bank in Ramle, which it is hoped will enable the collection of 500,000 units a year, double the current capacity. The facility also includes a vault to hold blood supplies that is capable of withstanding a direct missile hit and Israel’s only human milk bank to support premature babies.
Speaking after the event, Daniel Burger of Magen David Adom UK said, “It is an honour to be able to dedicate a bloodmobile in memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and ensure one of the ways his legacy will live on is to enable MDA in Israel to save more lives.”
British ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan said:
“Rabbi Lord Sacks had a truly global impact and was an exceptional ambassador for the Jewish people. It is fitting that part of his lasting legacy will be to save lives on the streets of Israel.”