14th-18th October 2012
Tel Aviv, Israel
– a report by Glynis Lipson, MDA Australia President and IMDAC Vice-Chairperson
Welcoming Delegates from Friends Societies
featuring guest speaker, Dan Alon
The 2012 IMDAC saw delegates from eleven countries come to Israel, all with the common goal of supporting the work of Magen David Adom Israel.
There were a few new faces amongst the many dedicated people, many of whom have been attending IMDAC’sfor many years. It was great to hear their stories and to catch up on all the news.
The Conference began with an informal get-together Magen David Adom’s headquarters, built by MDA Australia in the 1970′s and named the Sir John Monash Building.
Delegates were all welcomed by Avi Zohar, MDA President and listened in total silence as Dan Alon, a survivor from 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, told his very emotional story.
Dedication of new MDA Holon Station, visit to historic Shiloh
in Judea and Samaria, and visit to MDA Ariel Station.
Leaving Tel Aviv early in the morning, we headed to Holon for the dedication of the new MDA station there. It had been built by the British MDA Friends Society.
The planning for this project began about eight years ago and, finally, there is a new MDA Medical Emergency station serving the people of Holon and the surrounding areas.
A new box-shaped MICU, presented to Israel by the USA Friends Society, was also dedicated and now joins the fleet of emergency vehicles.
From Holon we went into the West Bank, to Shilo, the ancient capital of Israel. We drove to Ariel and, there, listened to an overview of MDA’s activities in Judea and Samaria. MDA operates 14 stations in the Judea and Samaria region, looking after the needs of all the Israeli citizens who live in the West Bank.
Assembly Day 1 included reports by MDA Director-General and Blood Services Director.
Guest speakers included Israel’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister
and the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister.
The morning started with a report from MDA’s Director-General, Eli Bin, regarding the organisation’s activities over the past 12 months. It was interesting to hear of the advancements within MDA, and of the humanitarian aid MDA has provided around the world in the pasy year. Listening to a report such as this gives you an understanding of MDA’s vast capabilities.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, MK Danny Aylon then addressed the forum, providing us with an update on the current situation in Israel.
Then came the turn of all the Friends Societies to report on their activities during the past year. Listening to their reports was inspiring.
Professor Eilat Shinar presented an update on MDA’s Blood Services division. Many questions were asked regarding the building of the new facility. Hopefully this project will begin towards the end of 2013.
Mark Regev, an Aussie-expat who is the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, was the afternoon’s guest speaker. Mark spoke extremely eloquently on many subjects concerning Israel. Being an Aussie, I was very proud to hear him speak. His knowledge of Israel and the political arena within which it exists was enthralling.
Assembly Day 2 included an address an advisor to MDA Israel,
reports by Christian Friends of MDA and by the Israeli Friends Society,
the dedication of numerous First-Responder motorcycles
and several personal stories from MDA personnel.
An early start for a very busy day!
We were fortunate to have, as a speaker, Christopher Lamb, a consultant to the International Red Cross Committee and to and MDA Israel. Chris has been, and still is, a great friend to MDA and he updated us on the relationship with MDA Israel and the ICRC.
It was wonderful to hear from MDA’s Fundraising department regarding the establishment of a new Israeli Friends of MDA Society, and on their activities within Israel.
Ann Ayalon, from the Christian Friends of MDA, explained the work taking place within the Christian community both in Israel and abroad.