HFNJ Makes Historic $100,000 Donation to Support Israeli First Responders

October 10, 2023

Donation to Magen David Adom will support first-aid responders across Israel as they recover from the Hamas attacks and respond to the ongoing crisis.

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ) announced that it is making an emergency, one-time grant to Israeli medical relief agency Magen David Adom in response to the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel that began on the morning of October 7, 2023.  The attacks have resulted in the loss of over 1,400 lives and several thousand wounded—most of them civilian men, women and children.


The $100,000 donation will unlock an additional $100,000 matching pledge to Magen David Adom from philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Magen David Adom organization is Israel’s national emergency organization, and it ensures that the 33,000 paramedics, EMTs, and first-aid responders—Jewish, Christian and Muslim Israelis—have the training, equipment, and medical supplies they need to treat all injured and ill people in Israel.

HFNJ was founded in 1996 from the proceeds of the sale of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.  The hospital was in turn was founded in 1901 by Newark’s Jewish community to give Jewish physicians, denied access to practice medicine in other hospitals because of their religion, an institution in which to provide medical care for the entire community.  The Foundation’s mission has always been to provide quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in Newark and its environs and the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey.

“Our Foundation demonstrates our Jewish values by our actions, and we are proud to make this emergency gesture to show our resounding support for Israel at this challenging time,” said Amy Schechner, HFNJ Board Chair.  “We hope that our decision will serve as a model for other foundations to do the same.”

A hallmark of the HFNJ since its inception is its commitment to the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (the giving of charity).  The unprecedented scale and scope of the Hamas attacks catalyzed an emergency vote by the trustees of The Healthcare Foundation of NJ to make this immediate $100,000 award to Magen David Adom.

“We are rendered speechless by the barbaric events that have unfolded in Israel since Saturday, October 7th, and our thoughts and hearts are with all of Israel and especially with those who have lost a loved one or whose family or friends have been wounded or held in captivity,” said Michael Schmidt, Executive Director, and CEO of HFNJ. “Today, we continue to honor our Jewish past by our actions in the present.  We hope that this $100,000 donation—and the additional $100,000 match it will catalyze—will play one small part in building a more just and humane world.”

All the trustees and staff at the Foundation are hopeful for a quick and peaceful resolution to the current crisis.