Forging a connection with a most receptive, generous couple in the Hungarian community, Hadassah International was able to launch an inaugural event in Budapest.

The evening, which featured Prof. Chaim Lotan, head of Hadassah’s Heart Institute, included an elegant cocktail party and dinner hosted and underwritten by the couple, Arie and Agnes Yom Tov. Mr. Yom Tov is an Israeli businessman who has lived in Budapest for the past 19 years. His wife, Agnes, is a native Hungarian.

The carefully crafted program began with greetings from the newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to Hungary, HE Aliza Bin-Noun, who emphasized the wonderful relationship Hadassah and Hungary both share with Israel. The attendees then viewed Hadassah International’s film, The Heart Has No Borders, which showcases Hadassah’s global medical outreach, and Sara Aronson, Hadassah International liaison to Hungary, provided more information about Hadassah International. Prof. Lotan followed with an overview of the Hadassah Medical Center and its life-saving and life-sustaining work.

Over 80 high-level guests including Hungarian and Israeli business colleagues, politicians, and members of the press attended. They were invited to take home a Hadassah International comprehensive brochure and a flyer about the upcoming Hadassah International Conference in Jerusalem, slated for March 2008.

Hungary is now in the midst of deciding whether to privatize its health care system, making health care a “hot” topic in the country. While medical care suffers from a lack of funds, the quality of its medical schools is high. (There are now about 1,000 Israelis studying in its medical schools.) The Director General of the Ministry of Health has expressed interest in visiting the Hadassah Medical Center.

The momentum is in place with Mrs. Yom Tov enthusiastically agreeing to take on the presidency of a Hadassah Hungary unit in Budapest. She and Mr. Yom Tov will shortly visit the Hadassah Medical Center to witness our medical miracles first-hand. In addition, HE Bin-Noun believes that Hadassah offers an excellent vehicle to promote the image of Israel in the eyes of the Hungarian public and has offered her residence for a future Hadassah International event.