Aug 17, 2022
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Holocaust survivors Shimon Lifshitz and Susanna Augusta Lifshitz made aliyah from Belgium eight months ago and decided to donate an ambulance to Magen David Adom. Their grandson, Avraham Applebaum, a senior EMT volunteer for MDA, now drives this ambulance.

“My grandparents deliberated for a long time about the best cause to donate to,” explains Applebaum.

“Grandpa called me, showed me his yellow star, and told me how the Nazis tried to murder us in the Holocaust. So his response will be to help save Jewish lives in the Land of Israel by donating an ambulance to MDA.”

During a routine shift, Applebaum and his partner, Yael Malka, received a call about a woman in labor about to give birth. Unable to make it to the hospital on time, they delivered the baby in the ambulance.

The excited parents, Avraham and Meital Miara, were told the remarkable story of the Holocaust survivors who donated the ambulance their baby girl was born in. As a tribute to the survivors, the couple chose to call their seventh daughter Neta, which means seedling or plant in Hebrew.

“We named the baby Neta to remember the roots that were deeply planted in the State of Israel and as a sign of gratitude and appreciation for [the survivors who donated the ambulance],” said the baby’s father, Avraham Miara.

“After the thrilling birth in the ambulance, I told my grandfather the story,” recalls Applebaum.

“He got emotional and told me, ‘It’s for moments like this that we donated the ambulance.’

“It was a special moment between us.”

Magen David Adom is Israel’s national paramedic and Red Cross service. A leader in mass-casualty response and EMS technology, Magen David Adom treats and transports nearly one million people to hospitals every year; collects, safety tests, and distributes nearly all the blood to Israel’s hospitals; and, through its affiliation with the Red Cross movement, responds to disasters around the world. American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) is MDA’s U.S.-based fundraising affiliate and raises more than 80 percent of MDA’s charitable dollars annually.