Saving a Child’s Heart

by  Jakob Weitz ’17

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On September 14, Loyola Marymount University hosted two prominent Israeli guests: Dr. Arie Schachner and Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara. The lecture was attended by both faculty and students. Professor Holli Levitsky, the director of Jewish Studies at LMU, introduced the speakers with a verse by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amchai.

Dr. Schachner is president of Save a Child’s Heart, a charity that provides urgently needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care to indigent children from developing countries. Based in Israel, Save a Child’s Heart saves a child’s life every 29 hours. One out of every 100 children is born with a congenital heart disease.

Save a Child’s Heart was founded in 1995 by Dr. Ami Cohen. Since then, the doctors of the charity have operated on over 4200 children with a success rate as high as any top-tier hospital. “Most developing countries have few, if any, cardiac surgeons” said Dr. Arie Schachner, named president of Save a Child’s Heart in 2014. “Without us, they wouldn’t of have a chance.”

Ayoob Kara is the Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation for Israel. Kara, a Druze-Israeli, uses his office in the Israeli government to champion the power of economic development as a path to peace in the region. His lecture centered on the power of collaboration and the strength of economics in the fight with extremism.

The event was closed by Rabbi Mark Diamond, a professor at LMU. Quoting the Talmud, the Rabbi reminded the audience that to save one life, is to save the whole world.