Jewish Actress Helps Expand Trauma Unit For Jerusalem Hospital
Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital received a $50 million donation last week from one of the people born there – famed Jewish actress Natalie Portman.
Portman’s donation is earmarked for an improved and expanded emergency trauma center being funded by the Hadassah Women's Zionist movement. The expansion will enable three times as many victims to be treated at once.
At a ceremony Thursday evening at the Jerusalem Theater, Dr. Kobi Assaf, Hadassah Hospitals’ director of surgery and shock trauma said the expansion of the trauma center will save many lives. "One of the most crucial things we can do for trauma patients is treat them quickly," he said. "The new unit is arranged specifically to do that - everything we need to treat them is right here."
The old center could handle 23,000 admissions a year, but demand rose to 73,000 due to Arab terrorism as well as an increase in car accidents.
23-year-old Portman, whose family name is Hershlag, was born in Israel, and her father worked as a doctor in Jerusalem. She spent last summer studying Jewish History at the Hebrew University.
While studying at Harvard University, Portman wrote an open letter defending Israeli security policies after a pro-PLO student attacked Israel in the campus newpaper. She also frequently paid visits to Israeli victims of terrorism in hospitals during the course of the Oslo War.