JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hadassah Hospital opened a new $363 million tower that will relieve patient overcrowding.
Patients began moving into the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower at Hadassah-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem on Monday. Patients from eight departments are scheduled to transfer to the tower in coming weeks. Fourteen of the 20 tower’s operating rooms and intensive care units will be opened by the end of the year.
Marcie Natan, national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, said the new tower "is among Hadassah’s most significant contributions to the State of Israel.”
“It expresses the Zionist vision of generations of Hadassah women," Natan said, "and emphasizes our deep commitment to the development of health and education in Israel."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat attended the opening ceremony Monday at which members of the family of the late Bill Davidson were honored for the family’s major contribution. Emily Reaser, a member of the Davidson family, announced that her family will provide a subsequent matching gift of up to $12.5 million.
Former Hadassah Director General Shlomo Mor-Yosef was honored for his 11 years of leadership and his role in the construction of the tower.
Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, and tower fundraising co-chair Sidney Schwartz concluded the ceremony by affixing a mezuzah to the new building.
The tower contains 19 floors, five below ground and 14 above, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
The dedication is part of the yearlong celebration of the centennial of Hadassah, the largest women’s and largest Jewish organization in the United States, with more than 330,000 members in more than 1,000 chapters.