The Middle Eastern sounds and rhythms of the Salametcom Debka Dance Group regularly raise the spirits of pediatric patients and their families at the Hadassah Medical Center.

The Salemetcom volunteer troupe hails from the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, located just outside of Jerusalem, where Hadassah has a community women’s health center. The volunteers of Salemetcom (which means “be healthy” in Arabic), speak both Hebrew and Arabic and have an understanding of Israeli culture. These skills enable them to ease the way for young patients from Gaza and the West Bank. Aside from performing songs and dances, they host cultural events within the hospital and sponsor fundraisers to help Palestinians who lack adequate medical coverage.

“Our multicultural approach is the cornerstone of our treatment of children and families,” notes Prof. Eitan Kerem, head of the Pediatrics Division at Hadassah. “We are very happy to promote activities that are conducted in Arabic and translated into Hebrew, enjoyed by all children, be they Jews or Arabs.”