American Friends of Soroka Medical Center

On June 15, American Friends of Soroka Medical Center is hosting The Blue & White Night at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. This annual gala honors Ambassador Ido Aharoni, who will receive the “Statesman for Israel” award in recognition of his tireless and inspirational advocacy for Israel and his wholehearted support for its institutions during his term as Consul General for Israel in NY. Ambassador Aharoni, whose service to the Israeli government in NY is drawing to an end this August,  has been a creative force for collaboration, unity and advocacy for Israel. Ambassador Aharoni has represented the State of Israel since 1991 in a range of leadership roles reflecting his vast expertise in foreign affairs, policy, communications, and media relations.

Dan Abrams, the Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News,  will serve as Master of Ceremonies.  Abrams is a prominent television personality, legal commentator, entrepreneur, and author.

The evening will feature a special performance by Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari.  Ben-Ari is a UN Goodwill Ambassador, humanitarian and the Global Brand Ambassador of Harman Kardon.  Originally from Israel, she is a recognized musical pioneer, having created her own unique sound – a revolutionary fusion of classical, soul and dance music. She has worked with artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z and Armin Van Buuren, and has been honored by First Lady, Michelle Obama at the White House as a “Remarkable Woman”. The 2015 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Ben-Ari is the CEO and co-founder of “Gedenk,” a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness of the Jewish Holocaust among young people.


Professor Zehavi Cohen will Receive Soroka’s Distinguished Service Award. Prof. Cohen served as the Director of Pediatric Surgery at Soroka from 2000 to 2014. The Soroka Pediatric Surgery Department is renowned for handling complex cases referred by all the hospitals in southern Israel, treating infants, children, and youth in a variety of surgical specialties, including oncology. The number of surgical procedures of this type performed by the Department is the largest in Israel.

All proceeds from this event will go to support Soroka’s campaign to build a new Rehabilitation hospital.  Conceived to bridge the tremendous gap that exists in rehabilitation medicine in the Negev, Soroka has established a new Rehabilitation Medicine Department. Our goal is to build a new, state-of-the-art hospital to house this new service, complete with a hydrotherapy suite of pools. The hospital will serve the children and adults of the region, including wounded soldiers.

Despite the large population of this region, no inpatient rehabilitation center has existed, until Soroka open its Rehabilitation Medicine Department in late 2015, and patients from the Negev in need of rehabilitation services have had to be hospitalized in distant areas, far from their homes and families.  For the diverse population of the Negev, the complicated logistics and economics of receiving rehabilitation care far from their home has posed an immense hardship. It is also vital to the patients’ recovery to start rehabilitation as soon as possible after sustaining an injury or undergoing a procedure.  The establishment of the new Rehabilitation Center at Soroka, building on the current 20 bed unit to meet the needs of the large population,  will contribute greatly to alleviating the suffering of patients from the Negev and assist the families who accompany them on their journey to improved functionality and better lives.


Soroka Medical Center

  • The Soroka Medical Center, located in Be’er Sheva, Israel, is responsible for the medical care of all of southern Israel, an area with over one million residents including over 400,000 children and a large and growing IDF and high-tech industry presence.
  • As the only major medical center for the entire Negev, Soroka serves a very diverse population, serving Arabs and Jews side-by side- making Soroka a global symbol of peaceful coexistence in Israel, even in times of conflict.
  • This institution provides exceptional healthcare to everyone alike, blind to race, religion, gender, and politics.
  • Centers of excellence within the hospital include trauma care, cancer care, genetics, brain center, clinical research, pediatrics, and psychiatric care.

Through the delivery of urgently needed medical care to the vast and profoundly diverse society in the Negev, Soroka makes a unique contribution to the building of a future of security and peaceful coexistence for Israel. Soroka is a powerful symbol for mankind, a beacon of hope for society worldwide.

To arrange an interview or press pass for the Soroka Medical Center Gala please contact Mindy Zigerman Zale at To attend the dinner or to support Soroka Medical Center, please contact Rachel Heisler at 914.725.9070 or

American Friends of Soroka Medical Center is a New York State 501(c)3 corporation, tax id # 13-5866593

 American Friends of Soroka Medical Center

PO Box 184-H, Scarsdale, NY 10583 – 914-725-9070 –