Temple Adat Elohim
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Temple Sends Ambulances to Israel

Thousand Oaks Acorn, May 1, 2003

Temple Adat Elohim is sending an extraordinary donation to the people of Israel.

Rabbi Alan Greenbaum had a dream come true Sunday as the congregation donated two specially equipped ambulances to be sent to Israel. Last summer as tensions increased in Israel and violence in the region grew more frequent, Greenbaum approached the congregation with an idea to make an atypical donation.

"It all happened in one day," said Greenbaum. "I asked the congregation on Rosh Hashanah, thinking we would get one (ambulance)."

The rabbi got his wish and then some. Members contributed nearly $130,000 and purchased two emergency vehicles that will provide much needed medical services. The ambulances were donated to ARMDI, the fundraising arm of Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross.

Magen David Adom is the country’s only ambulance, disaster and blood supply network and was started in 1940 by a group of devoted American Jews who recognized the need. Since that time, ARMDI has provided more than 3,000 ambulances, a paramedic training program and 57 field medical stations across the country.

"I am here on behalf of the men, women and children of Israel to say thank you," said Brad Smulson, chairman of the Volunteer Committee of the Western Region of ARMDI. "The purpose of this organization is to save lives in times of crisis, medical emergency, terrorist attacks and war."

During the ceremony Paula Kraft, chairman of the committee that organized the dedication, welcomed the scores of congregants in attendance. "Rabbi Greenbaum brought his dream to temple during High Holy Days last year," said Kraft. "Thank you for making this dream come true."

Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe continued the theme by adding, "As we dream of the ambulance’s arrival … let Israel have peace and let us continue to dream."

MDA will be providing the Thousand Oaks temple with annual reports on each of the vehicles and the services they provide. The vehicles will offer more than just transportation. Since 1948, 11,000 babies have been delivered in ambulances en route to a hospital.

Greenbaum said the vehicles would be available to all who need them—regardless of race, religion or citizenship. "Your decision to provide two life-sustaining vehicles is an exercise of the highest values that Judaism stands for," said Greenbaum. "If you save a single life, you save the entire world."

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