A London-born father who made aliyah in 2008 has died after the British Jewish community helped raise thousands of pounds in his battle with cancer.
David Kay, whose daughter Noa is two years old, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer despite him never having smoked, and last year, after tests revealed the tumours had spread throughout his body.
News of his death trickled through the community on Thursday, after the social media campaign ‘Save Dave’ helped his family raise $124,000 to cover costs not covered by their health insurance, such as advanced tests in the United States, second medical opinions and conferences.
Taking to Facebook, his wife Emly Kay wrote in a heartfelt message: “My soulmate and best friend passed away today at 6pm. The funeral will be held this Friday at 11am at Kinneret Cemetery. We will then gather at the community center in Kibbutz Ginosar. Shiva will begin on Sunday”.
Friends responded with their condolences, paying tribute to David as “a symbol of hope” and wishing his family, including widow Emly and daughter Noa strength as they mourn his passing.
At the end of October dozens of family friends and supporters ran a 10k run around Tel Aviv to raise money for the keen athlete.
A former member of Woodside Park shul, whose mother now sings in the Zemel choir, he grew up in London and was a member of youth movement HaNoar HaTzioni.
He later chaired the Jewish Society at Leeds Metropolitan University, before making aliyah in 2008, moving to northern Israel and Kibbutz Ginosar on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, after meeting Israeli-born wife Emly in Tel Aviv.
Last year the family was hit by the diagnosis that he had rare form of cancer – Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC) EGFR+ with multiple Brain, Liver and Bones Metastasis, launching him into a combination of chemotherapy, whole-brain radiotherapy and medication.
In December he began an alternative course including biological treatment and immunotherapy, writing to supporters to say he was hopeful it would be successful.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”