Members of the Adelson family, children of Dr. Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson, recently sponsored flights to Israel for more than 500 Jewish refugees from Ukraine.
The flights, which were part of United Hatzalah’s Operation Orange Wings, brought the refugees from Chisinau, Moldova and Iasi, Romania, to Israel over the past two weeks.
Irina, a Ukrainian refugee from Kyiv who arrived in Moldova by herself, suffered from a complicated medical condition that required her to receive continuous medical care. Since the start of the war, she had been unable to receive medical attention in Kyiv and during her travel to the border.
Due to her condition, she was taken to a local hospital in Chisinau, where she requested that she be allowed to fly to Israel to reunite with her son in the Meir Shfeya Youth Village.
Recognizing the uniqueness of her request — and having witnessed the efforts of United Hatzalah’s team in Chisinau on behalf of refugees — one of the staff members contacted United Hatzalah and asked if there was a way that they could help. Chief Paramedic of United Hatzalah Avi Marcus, who served as the chief medical officer for the organization’s mission to Moldova and the Ukrainian border, sent one of the volunteer doctors in Chisinau to visit the woman and provide a thorough checkup.
The doctor determined that with special medical supervision the woman could make the journey and signed a document stating so. With this document, the hospital staff agreed to release the woman to the care of United Hatzalah’s medical team, which arranged for her to be on the flight, thanks to the sponsorship of the Adelson family.
Two days after the hospital visit, the woman was on a plane to Israel. Upon landing, she was picked up and taken to Meir Shfeya and reunited with her son. Her son was overjoyed, as he had not expected his mother to be able to make it to Israel. He wrote the organization a heartfelt thank you letter expressing his gratitude for all that was done to reunite his family.
Eli Beer, president and founder of United Hatzalah, spoke about the Adelson family’s generosity. “Thanks to the support of Adam, Matan, Sivan and Patrick, children of Dr. Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson, may his memory be a blessing, we were able to bring this woman and 500 other Jewish refugees to safety in Israel. Our teams provided the refugees with humanitarian aid at the Ukrainian border as well as inside Moldova, Romania and other countries, and then we flew them to Israel onboard our specially chartered flights, while providing medical coverage throughout. [The Adelson family’s] support enabled us to save these people and bring them to safety and reunite not only Irina with her son but many other families as well.”