Ambulance for Israel Honors Special Memory

While walking through a South Florida flea market with his longtime wife, Judith, several years ago, Johanan Zelikovsky, 86, noticed an ambulance marked with Hebrew and English lettering. After some inquiry, the Zelikovskys realized that the vehicle was set to be donated to Israel. Since the couple lived there before immigrating to the United States in the 1950s, they both saw the charity as a noble cause and began making donations.

After Judith's death two years ago, however, Johanan Zelikovsky decided to honor his late wife's interest in the charity by donating an ambulance to American Friends of Magen David Adom – the U.S. branch of Israel's Magen David Adom emergency medical service, a nonprofit group that provides trained volunteer and professional medical responders to Israel.

The vehicle, which was unveiled at a ceremony last week at the Zelikovskys' synagogue – the newly named Congregations of Shaare Shamayim – will be stationed in Judith's hometown of Tel Aviv.

"She was a great wife of 59 years, a wonderful mother, sister and grandmother," said one of the couple's sons, Morris Zelikovsky, 55, who spoke on behalf of the family before 300 or so people at the dedication. "Both my father and mother worked very hard and sacrificed so that all the members of the family would benefit from their hard work."

Sharon Schmidt, the director of Magen David Adom's U.S. fundraising arm, explained that the ambulance will first be taken to New York, where it will then be put on a ship for its final journey to Israel. Once in Tel Aviv, it will be stocked with medical supplies, also payed for by the Zelikovskys.

"We send 50 ambulances a year to Israel," said Schmidt,


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