judi richards


1st Non-Jewish Individual To Donate A ‘Baker’s Dozen’ Of Mobile Intensive Care Units For Israel

There’s a famous commercial for a legendary rye bread bakery with the tagline, “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish To Love Levy’s.”

Well, you also don’t have to be Jewish to love Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical service.  You just have to love saving people’s lives.

And that’s what philanthropist and humanitarian Lois Pope loves to do.  So much so that she has just donated her 13th ambulance to MDA.  This contribution makes Mrs. Pope the largest non-Jewish funder of mobile medical intensive care units for the State of Israel.

“We call these ambulances ‘the Lois Pope life-saving fleet’,” said Tamura Karu, Palm Beach County director for the American Friends of Magen David Adom.  “Through her generosity to Magen David Adom, Mrs. Pope continues to have a meaningful and direct impact on emergency first response care in Israel.  The Israeli people are eternally grateful for her commitment.”

Mrs. Pope, a resident of Manalapan, FL, said she considers the latest MDA donation, “my Bat Mitzvah ambulance.  I know that when Jewish girls and boys turn 13, they celebrate becoming ‘B’nei Mitzvah,’ the ritual coming of age in their religion.  And during the ceremony they both get gifts and give to charity.  So, while I am not quite 13 years old, I still wanted to continue this wonderful tradition.”

By donating her 13th ambulance to MDA to help further its work and help save the lives of rocket and terrorist attack victims, heart attack victims, and others in need of emergency care, Mrs. Pope said, “I’m not just helping give the gift of life, I’m getting the same thing in return.  I really feel that my life is so much more fulfilled and meaningful because I’m doing this.”

As with the previous 12 MICUs, her latest donation is in tribute to another individual – in this case it is dedicated to the memory of Judi Richards (photo shown above).

.  Mrs. Richards was a longtime Palm Beach resident and community leader who died earlier this year after a 13-year battle with cancer.  Mrs. Pope and Mrs. Richards became friendly through their philanthropic endeavors in the Palm Beach community.

“Judi fought cancer so hard for 13 years but through it all, she never stopped giving of herself to help others, whether it was her work for the American Heart Association or the Cancer Alliance of Help & Hope, and so many other organizations,” Mrs. Pope said.  “So it was only natural that for my 13th ambulance, I donated it to her memory.”

According to Mrs. Karu, the ambulances donated by Mrs. Pope over the years have played a vital role in Israel, providing aid and emergency transportation to everyone from victims of rocket and terrorist attacks to victims of heart attacks and auto accidents. They’ve also served as the birthplace for some of the more than 100 babies that are born annually in Magen David Adom ambulances in route to the hospital.

Magen David Adom is an organization of trained volunteer and professional medical responders mandated by the Israeli government to provide the nation’s pre-hospital emergency medical care, including disaster, ambulance and blood services. The MDA National Blood Services Center provides 100 percent of the blood needs of the Israel Defense Forces and 97 percent of the blood needs of Israel’s hospitals. American Friends of Magen David Adom funded the construction of the MDA National Blood Services Center and are now constructing a facility to replace that building, the Marcus National Blood Service Center, which will have twice the blood-processing capacity and be reinforced against missile, chemical, and biological attack. MDA continues to build or renovate many of MDA’s emergency medical stations throughout Israel, and supply MDA with a wide range of emergency medical supplies and equipment, including most of the organization’s 1,100 ambulances and Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) and most of its 600 Medicycles. MDA’s ambulances are on call 24/7, logging nearly 10 million miles and caring for more than 900,000 patients annually. For more information, visit www.afmda.org.