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Society News

Honorees Phyllis and Joseph Gurwin with co-chairs Barbara Kay,

Honorees Phyllis and Joseph Gurwin with co-chairs Barbara Kay,
Jack Kay and Sydelle Meyer.
Photo by: Lucien Capehart


American Friends of Magen David Adom



PALM BEACH, FL – American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) held their annual Palm Beach Gala on January 25 at The Breakers. Barbara and Jack Kay and Sydelle Meyer served as co-chairs for the evening, which honored Phyllis and Joseph Gurwin.


The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Ponce Foyer, with a Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance on display on the adjacent Ponce Patio. From there, the more than 300 guests moved to the Ponce de Leon Ballroom for dinner
and a dazzling performance by Israeli international recording artist Liel.


Barbara Kay presented the Gurwins with the 2009 AFMDA Humanitarian Award for helping to make the world a better place. In addition, Grand Corporate Benefactor Cartier presented the Gurwins with an engraved silver tray to commemorate the evening.


The Gurwins pledged a matching donation of up to $1 million in order to maximize fundraising efforts.  They committed to this extraordinary gift because of their love and devotion to Israel
and their appreciation of the emergency medical services provided by Magen David Adom (MDA). “MDA is vital to Israel’s survival” said Joseph Gurwin. “I hope that every person will support it as I have. It affects every man, woman and child in the State of Israel.”

Over $2 million was raised to complete the Palm Beach Friends of AFMDA 2009 special project, the renovation of the Joseph and Phyllis Gurwin Palm Beach Friends MDA Nahariya Emergency Medical Station in Israel, and supply the critical resources to allow MDA to safeguard Israel’s people.

Gold Benefactors for the event were Sarita Gantz, Mort Kahn and Becky & Jimmy Mayer; Silver Benefactors were Rhoda & David Chase, Barbara & Jack Kay, Sydelle Meyer and Ruth & Carl Shapiro. During the evening, two ambulances were donated by William Langfan and Marilyn & Stanley Katz.


Advisory committee members were Alene Alper, Linda Benjamin, Linda Frankel, Lois Frieder, Bernice Friedman, Carole Gigliotti, Jacqueline Goldman, Nancy Hart, Irene Karp, Fraeda Kopman, Susie Levitt, Elise Mesh, Sharon O’Neil, Judy Ruttenberg, Muriel Saltzman, Robbi Toll and Joy Weinberger.


Among those enjoying the evening were Dianne & Abe Bernstein, Lois Pope, Nina & Billy Albert, Annette & Jack Friedland, Sallie & Bert Korman, Bill Langfan & Joan Herman, Ellen & Irwin Levy, Ellen Liman, Rhoda & Manuel Mayerson, Barbara Mines, Eleanor & Sidney Packer, Jean & Fred Sharf, and Marian & Norman Wolgin.


American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) supports the life saving efforts of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s only government-mandated ambulance and emergency medical responders, providing medical, disaster, ambulance and blood services. 


For information on the Palm Beach Friends of AFMDA, call 561-835-0510.


To list an upcoming event please contact


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