Hackney Host Medical Staff from Rambam Hospital in Haifa
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Thursday 24th October 2013

Last week, four members of the medical staff from Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, arrived in London for a working visit at Homerton Hospital in Hackney as part of an initiative taking place under the auspices of the Hackney Anglo-Israel Friendship Association (H.A.I.F.A.)

During their visit, the team had the opportunity to experience London, share and gain knowledge with their counterparts whilst working at Homerton Hospital, and  sampled Jewish life in the East End. On Friday night, the team were hosted by Hackney US members Lena and Ronny Barden for Kabbalat Shabbat and a traditional Friday night dinner along with Hackney US Rabbi Naftali Tiefenbrun.

The four guests from Rambam Hospital are; Dimitry Rozenfeld, Assistant Head Nurse of Neurology, Anna Reznik, a Neurology Nurse, Wael Baraka, an emergency room Nurse and Naomi Lerner, a Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse.

The Rambam team were given an ‘official’ welcome by the Speaker of Hackney at the Town Hall along with special guests including Lt Col Morris (Deputy Lord Lt of Hackney) and Lord Clinton Davis of Hackney (HAIFA President).

So far, 10 exchanges have taken place over the past 20 years, with hospital staff coming from Israel to England and English hospital staff likewise being hosted by the City of Haifa. The Hackney Anglo-Israel Friendship Association (H.A.I.F.A.) is chaired by Martin Sugarman and his committee.

The Borough of Hackney and the City of Haifa have been twinned since 1968, and over the years, there have been a number of joint programmes and activities. With both Haifa and Hackney being hosting a wide mix of ethnicities, the twinning has proven to be very successful.

In 1996, former Mayor of Hackney Cllr Salim Siddiqui spent a week in Israel visiting Jewish, Christian and Moslem communities in Haifa and other parts of the country, leading a Hackney business team to establish links there.