by Justin Cohen
The British-born rabbi murdered at Har Nof Synagogue a year ago has been honoured with the opening of a unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in his memory.
The three-bed facility in the Jerusalem hospital’s emergency department was dedicated in the name of rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, a former Golders Green resident who was among five victims of last November’s attack.
Attended by around 100 people, the ceremony was addressed by Rabbi Goldberg’s widow Bryna who called for people to unite in “tolerance, kindness, and being good to one another…when tragedy strikes, we suddenly forget our differences and remember we are brothers and sisters ready to help each other”.
Michelle Hirschfield, a cousin who travelled from London for the moving event, spoke of Rabbi Goldberg as a man whose values mirrored those of the hospital. “He had respect and tolerance for all no matter what their level of religious was,” she said. “He could mix with the greatest rabbis and the simplest of men. The doctors here are Jews and Arabs. They are non-judgemental. All they want to do is save people’s lives.”
Patrick Haughey, who recently arrived at the British Embassy following a posting in Paris, talked of the “dark times” we live in and how easy it would be to lose hope amid frequent terror attacks. But he described the work of Rabbi Goldberg’s family as an example of hope, responding to their own personal tragedy not with anger but by supporting Shaare Zedek.
Meanwhile, former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles visited Shaare Zedek’s new children’s hospital and met staff responding to the recent wave of terror attacks.
He said: “The staff work tirelessly to deliver exactly the same help for whoever comes through their doors, be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian or of no faith. It’s important to always remember that whatever a small minority would want us to believe, the reality of most communities around the world is people of different beliefs and origins getting on together happily, and that is what is so effectively demonstrated at Shaare Zedek.” The chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel said he was “proud” that British supporters play a pivotal role in the institution’s work.”