Following the Hamas attacks on civilians and troops on October 7, Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he will donate over $44 million to Magen David Adom, Israel’s nonprofit emergency medical service.
The billionaire philanthropist and former mayor of New York City said that he would match donations made by those who responded to his email appeal on behalf of the American Friends of Magen David Adom. The donation, which totals $88 million, is the biggest in the history of the American organization.
In a statement, Mr. Bloomberg said, “America has always been a friend to Israel and I am encouraged that so many of us are stepping up to help our ally during these challenging times.” “It is crucial to demonstrate to the world our solidarity in denouncing Hamas and our dedication to preserving the wellbeing and security of every Israeli.”
Often referred to as the Israeli Red Cross, Magen David Adom serves as the country’s blood bank, emergency medical system, and disaster response unit. Ballistic vests, helmets, ambulances, and medical supplies will all be purchased with the additional funds, according to Catherine Reed, CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom. The group transported 17 brand-new ambulances to Israel last week, and it intends to send more in the days to come.
For several decades, Mr. Bloomberg has been a supporter of the organization, contributing millions of dollars to assist the establishment of an emergency medical station and blood donation center in Jerusalem, which bears the name of his late father, William H. Bloomberg. Additionally, he provided funding for a health facility at Hadassah University Medical Center honoring Charlotte R. Bloomberg, his mother.
Nevertheless, the donor’s most recent gift represents a major increase in his efforts; up until now, he has mostly concentrated his donations on national concerns like immigration, urban policy, and gun control.
Shortly after the attacks, Mr. Bloomberg’s longstanding friend and head of the American Friends of Magen David Adom, Mark Lebow, contacted the former mayor to request a financial contribution. According to Mr. Bloomberg’s aides, the amount of support for his request for matching contributions was unexpected, as he and his team had only planned to raise a fifth of the total.
They ran an appeal for 11 days, and about 34,000 people donated. According to the organization, donations came from all over the nation, with big donors financing ambulances and kids holding bake sales and lemonade stands as fund-raisers.
“I don’t think we ever thought the match would turn out this way,” Ms. Reed stated. “This gift truly has the potential to transform.”