November 24, 2003
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his mother celebrated her upcoming birthday in Israel today by dedicating the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center. The Mayor and his mother, who will turn 95 in January, were joined by the Mayor's sister Marjorie Tiven, fulfilling one of their mother's lifelong dreams to be together as a family in Israel. As part of the dedication ceremony, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Director-General of the Hadassah Medical Organization, and June Walker, the National President of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, took the Bloomberg family on a private tour of the existing facility, meeting with patients and physicians. Israel's Minister of Health Dan Naveh and Mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupolianski were among the dignitaries at the ceremony.
"My sister and I are very proud of our mother Charlotte, and we are overjoyed to be here as a family to dedicate the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center, located on Hadassah's Ein Kerem campus," said Mayor Bloomberg. "For more than half a century, our mother has been involved in community activities, especially her synagogue and her local Hadassah chapter. Her enduring commitment to Hadassah as a Life Member and her devotion to Israel are profound, and she has served as an inspiration to us on the importance of giving back and community."
The Center, the most advanced facility dedicated to the care and treatment of women and children in the region, is a freestanding unit on the campus of Jerusalem's largest hospital. The Mayor made a major gift to name the Center in his mother's honor that will allow the hospital to build three new floors onto the existing six-story facility; the additional floors will house the Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, High-Risk Pregnancy and Fetal Therapy units, and the Department of Pediatric Psychiatry. Construction will begin in January and take approximately two years to complete. The Center's new floors, which will add more than 48,000 square feet to the facility's nearly 97,000 square feet, will enable Hadassah to expand its vast scope of services as well as more than double patient numbers.
"Hadassah is pleased and proud that Mayor Bloomberg has chosen to honor his mother by placing her name on a building that is the embodiment of all he and we cherish - mothers and children," said June Walker, National President of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. "Over 90 years ago, the women of Hadassah began their work by sending two nurses to Jerusalem to provide pre-natal care and pediatric services to the local population. Times have changed as has medicine, but Hadassah has remained constant in its concern for the health of mothers and children."
"We can think of no finer way for Mayor Bloomberg to honor his own mother than to improve the opportunities for women to become mothers and children to regain their health," added Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Director General of Hadassah Medical Center. "We are most grateful for his devotion to his mother and to our mission of improving the lives of all Israelis. His gift underscores the special place Jerusalem occupies in all our hearts, the special connection Mayor Bloomberg and his mother have to Hadassah, and the special bond between parents and children, mothers and sons."
One of Israel's highest medical priorities is assisting all women to become mothers and have families. The Center's High-Risk Pregnancy and Fetal Therapy unit provides advanced, comprehensive care to the mother before and during pregnancy, to the embryo before implantation, and to the fetus during pregnancy, delivery and following birth. In total, Hadassah delivers more than 5,000 newborns annually.
The Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology admits approximately 100 new patients each year and is the leading treatment center for pediatric cancer in Israel today. Aged from infancy to mid-teens, almost a third of Hadassah's young cancer patients suffer from leukemia, 20 percent from brain tumors and 15 percent from lymphomas. After treatment at Hadassah, nearly 70 percent make a full recovery.
This is the second time that Mayor Bloomberg and his sister have honored their mother with a donation to Hadassah in honor of her birthday. For her 90th birthday, they created an endowment for a scholarship fund for deserving teenagers to attend the Tel Yehudah Camp, the Hadassah youth movement, Young Judaea's, leadership training camp for 15-17 year olds. At age twelve, Mrs. Bloomberg was a president of Young Judaea.
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women's and largest Zionist organization in the U.S., and supports the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel. HMO is the most advanced medical and research center in the Middle East: Nearly one million patients from all over the world are treated each year at the two hospitals, a community health center, and more than 100 outpatient clinics. In the U.S., Hadassah programs also include health education and services, social action and advocacy, Jewish education and forging partnerships with Israel.