Tuesday 20th of January, 2011: The square near the emergency department was named yesterday: "the Founders' Square". The moving ceremony was attended by all the founders of the Barzilai Medical Center and hospital staff.
The declaration of the "Founders' Square" is the beginning of the Jubilee Celebrations of the Barzilai Medical Center, which was established in 1961.
In attendance were the first hospital director Dr. Michael Lavi, the first head nurse of the hospital, Mrs. Nellie Levy, representatives of the late Joseph Harari, the first administrative director, representative family of Bat Sheva Levy, the first superintendent of the Bureau of Health.
Dr. Lavie welcomed the guests and reminded everyone how the hospital was founded as a Health Center with a delivery room, a department of Internal Medicine, and a Department of Pediatrics, and the discussions regarding the name of the center. Now, it evolved into a center that serves a population of half a million people.
Mrs. Nellie Levy said that she looks back with pride and forward with hope of further development of the hospital. Mr. Ronnie Mahatsri, Chairman of Friends of the hospital, added that the founders must be proud of what they did.
The Mayor, Mr. Benny Vaknin, congratulated the hospital staff for the opening of the Jubilee celebrations and naming the square after the founders. He said it was not obvious to build up here in Ashkelon a hospital, and only people who dreamed and wanted to establish Zionism, came to Ashkelon, pushed and built the hospital and brought him to what it is today. He added that today we salute the founding generation and their successors on their action and the wonderful service.
Dr. Shimon Scharf, the CEO and medical director of the Center, welcomed the founding generation and said that every time he presents the center, he stresses that "it is the end of premeditated act." "This is the only hospital which includes a District Health Office and a School of Nursing" he said. "The hospital staff experienced many wars, many events, and the "graves' war", and we are fighting today for the establishment of a new building for the welfare of our patients. Meanwhile, extensive renovation work is being carried out in the Gynecology and the Cardiology departments". "We are proud of what you did", said Dr. Scharf to the founding generation, "and thank you for everything you did".
After the speeches, Honor Certificates were distributed to the Center's founders, whose names were engraved on the stone in the "Founders Square."
Following the ceremonial part of the event, the distinguished guests tasted pastries of TuB'Shvat baked by the food service staff of the medical center.
Mayor of Ashkelon, the first director, Dr. Lavie and Dr. Scharf current manager removing the veil
Dr. Michael Lavy talking to the guests about the establishment of the center
Mrs. Nellie Levy, the first head nurse, with the mayor of Ashkelon, Mr. Benny Vaknin.
Dr. Scharf, director of the medical center, offering Dr. Michael Lavy a Certificate of Recognition
Tamar David, the current head nurse, gives Mrs. Nellie Levy, the first head nurse, a Certificate of Recognition
Yael Arbeli, the district nurse supervisor, offering a recognition certificate to the son of the first superintendent nurse, Mrs. Batsheva Levy
Mr. Eitan Cohen, administrative director, grants a Certificate of Recognition to the daughter of the first administrator, the late Mr. Joseph Hardy
Ms. Tamar Laor, Head School of Nursing with a Certificate of Recognition of the first director of the School of Nursing.
Audience at the ceremony