Sharon Stone Helps Launch Magen David Adom’s “Iron Dome Protectors of Israel” Women’s Division in LA

Posted By : Devick Sellam June 30, 2017

From left- Sharon Stone, MDA Chief Operations Officer Ori Shacham, new MDA Chairman of the Board Rabbi Avraham Manela, MDA paramedic Naty Regev, and AFMDA Western Region President Dina Leeds. Photo by Orly Halevy

A sold-out, capacity crowd of women philanthropists and leaders gathered at the luxurious new Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, June 21 to help American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) launch the Iron Dome Protectors of Israel Women’s Division for Magen David Adom (MDA). The event raised tremendous funds — including two new ambulances — for MDA. The luncheon also featured a fascinating discussion between actress and activist Sharon Stone and business leader and philanthropist Michael Milken on the life and impact of the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres.

“Every thought was just delicious,” Stone said in reflecting on the way Peres shaped her worldview, including her advocacy work with the Yala Young Leaders initiative she started. “It was like having the most extraordinary meal of emotional and intellectual nutrition. And with each bite, you became so enlivened that your own emotional and intellectual capacity grew.”

“As you know there’s a saying in the Talmud ‘If you save one life, you save the world,’ and we saw many world savers here today,” Milken said, referring to the work of Magen David Adom. “So we are honored to be here.”

Chaired by AFMDA Western Region President Dina Leeds, the event was kicked off by MDA supporter and Waldorf Astoria owner Beny Alagem, who told the story of being saved by MDA as a young boy in Israel. Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse offered greetings and a powerful message of empowerment for the women in the room.

“I commend each and every one of you for being such strong and determined women, each leading by example to make a difference,” Mayor Bosse said.

The mission of AFMDA’s Women’s Division — created by a group of Los Angeles-based women led by Leeds — is to support various underserved communities in Israel.

Sharon Stone (center) discussing MDA’s lifesaving work with MDA COO Ori Shacham (at left) and MDA Chairman of the Board, Rabbi Avraham Manela. Photo by Yossi Percia.

“We want to offer love and resources to our brothers and sisters in Israel who need it most due to the high-risk parts of the country they live in,” Leeds said. “Where there is no literal Iron Dome anti-missile system, we will be their ‘Iron Dome’ of emotional and lifesaving support.”

The Eshkol region of southern Israel was highlighted at the event as the first such community. A number of its residents made the trip to Los Angeles to share their stories with guests, including the mayor of the Eshkol region, Gadi Yarkoni, who walks with prosthetics after having lost his legs in a terrorist rocket attack several years ago.

To mark the occasion, many guests wore beautiful handcrafted pins that were specially made for AFMDA’s women’s division. The pins are a unique collaboration between Yaron Bob, an artisan in Eshkol who makes art from remnants of Iron Dome missiles, prominent Los Angeles artist Kharlene Boxenbaum, and renowned Beverly Hills jewelry designer Yossi Dina.

Several other representatives from Israel attended, including new MDA Chairman of the Board Rabbi Avraham Manela, MDA Chief Operating Officer Ori Shacham, and MDA paramedic Naty Regev.

At the event, the new Valentina Morar MDA ambulance was on display, dedicated with love by her daughter Nikita Kahn, who was in attendance at the event. The ambulance will be on its way to the holy city of Jerusalem to save lives in Morar’s honor.

Other notable guests included: Sheryl and David Weiner, Beverly Hills Health and Safety Commission Chair Lisa Kay Schwartz, Gita and Jack Nagel, and many others.

The dazzling room décor, awash in red accents and roses — the colors of MDA — was sponsored by George Ortega of Square Root Designs.

The next major MDA event in Los Angeles is its annual Red Star Ball on October 22 at the Beverly Hilton.

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