On Tuesday evening, $13 million were raised by the Miami community at Friends of United Hatzalah’s gala, which took place at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort. The event was headlined by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli who gave a special performance that wowed the crowd, with Bocelli and his wife Veronica honored for their commitment to lifesaving.
Among the 1,200 attendees at the event were Israel’s Consul General in Miami Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Miami-based artist Romero Britto, Howard Goldstein Chairman of the Israel Bonds, former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and United Hatzalah International Committee Board Members and Chairman Erica and Mark Gerson.
Philanthropists Margo and Yoram Cohen were honored by the President and Founder of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer for their ongoing support of the organization’s activities. World-renowned fashion house Dolce & Gabbana hosted a VIP reception with a collection of Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria, and Alta Gioielleria unique creations curated especially for United Hatzalah. The production and decor of the evening by Press Play inc. and Jassi & Co Creative captivated many of the attendees.
This year’s gala was chaired by Tila Falic Levi and co-chaired by Robin Jacobs and featured Israeli DJ David Edry who entertained guests at a rockin’ after-party. During the dinner, Falic Levi spoke about the symbolism of holding this year’s gala on the third night of Hanukkah and said: “United Hatzalah is an organization that brings light to the darkest situations and even to the darkest of places, be it Surfside, Puerto Rico, or even Ukraine. United Hatzalah lights up the world like the lights of Hannukah and its volunteers are like modern-day Maccabees.”
After the speech, guests were moved to tears by the video testimonies from members of the organization’s recent international missions, particularly highlighted were the missions to the Fort Myers region following Hurricane Ian this past September and the mission during the Ukraine-Russia war.
Among the organizers of the event were National Major Gifts Director Danielle David and Florida Development Associate Rivky Meyer, who were instrumental in arranging a special auction of two of Bocelli’s guitars that raised $720,000 from anonymous donors.
During her speech at the event, David praised the gathered crowd for their partnership in the lifesaving activities that the organization’s volunteers undertake in Israel. “There is a powerful bond between all of our 6,200 volunteers, the people whose lives they save, and the generous supporters in this room who make every life-saving story possible. At a time when so many things divide us, I know we can all agree that the lifesaving mission of United Hatzalah brings us together.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer thanked the Miami community for its support saying: “We are really grateful for the special relationship that has developed between United Hatzalah and this incredible community. United Hatzalah volunteers were an integral part of the response to the tragedies that unfortunately struck Florida over the past few years and this has created a sense of shared fate. Special thanks go out to board member Bruce Gelb and his wife Amy for all they have done to make this event happen. I also want to thank our close friend Israel Schachter at Charity Bids and our incredible team at United Hatzalah that put together this event as well as our board members and all of our guests. Everyone who came demonstrated incredible generosity and become partners with us in our mission to save lives.”
To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah please click here: