Thanks to Sandy and Maureen Salz of Oro Valley, a new MICU (mobile intensive care unit) for Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service, has arrived in Israel to help care for those dealing with increased violence, in response to Hamas attacks.
Two events marking the sponsorship took place on December 10: a morning dedication ceremony at the JCC, and a special ambulance viewing at the Tucson Jewish Museum and Holocaust Center’s community Hannukah event in the evening.
At the JCC dedication, which drew about 75 people, Elana Michael, Director of Major Gifts for American Friends of Magen David Adom’s Southwest Region, spoke about the history of the Salz’s gift, which was made to memorialize Sandy’s grandparents, father, and siblings.
Both sides of Sandy’s family emigrated from Eastern Europe to what was then called Palestine, before making their way to the U.S. Deeply involved in the Jewish community in St. Louis and beyond, his grandfather became the editor and publisher of the St. Louis Jewish Record, a weekly newspaper for the Jewish community published in both English and Yiddish. His family’s commitment to the Jewish community, coupled with health challenges that his parents and grandparents encountered at the end of their lives, inspired the family to sponsor a MICU, which contains the most advanced equipment for saving lives.
At the event, Michael explained that the Salz MICU was already in Israel, being quickly prepared to be put into action saving lives. Another Magen David Adom MICU was parked nearby, so that those attending could get a sense of the Salz gift.
“When I explained to Sandy and Maureen that at least 16 MDA rescue vehicles had been destroyed by Hamas, and that we could rush their MICU to Israel in response to the needs on the ground, they didn’t hesitate for a minute. They wanted us to airlift the MICU, although it meant we would not be able to dedicate their vehicle at this event,” said Michael.
“While we don’t have their MICU here, the fact that it is already in Israel, getting ready to save lives, is testament to the kind of leaders that Sandy and Maureen are. They are passionate about helping others in Israel and beyond. Caring for others is their only concern,” she added.
Guests had a chance to tour the vehicle and to hear from Dr. Jordan Justice, a former Magen David Adom volunteer who is now a pediatric emergency physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The program also included video presentations by Magen David Adom paramedics who saved lives during the October 7 attacks.
“We are pleased and moved to be able to help Israel during this very challenging time. It means so much for us to assist the people living in our historic Jewish homeland, and to be a part of the effort to keep people safe,” said Sandy Salz.
Later that day, members of the larger community also had a chance to view and tour a Magen David Adom ambulance at a Hannukah family event and candle-lighting at Tucson Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center.