Sunday, August 14, was Celebrate Israel Day at Citi Field for a matchup of the New York Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies. The program supported the Soroka Medical Center based in Be’er Sheva, the sole medical destination for the southern point of the country. Sitting just 20 miles from Gaza, the medical center has been dubbed Israel’s Medical Iron Dome. The Frances and Nathan Kirsch Emergency Department and Trauma Unit is the busiest in Israel. Due to Operation Breaking Down, the center has relocated vulnerable units like the neonatal intensive care unit.

Celebrate Israel with the Mets included a Limited Edition Celebrate Israel Mets Hat giveaway, festive pre-game programming, and of course, a shut out by the Mets 6-0.

Local community leaders in attendance included Rabbi Nathan Alfred, Spiritual Leader at the Free Synagogue of Flushing, who attended with a group from his congregation; Michael Nussbaum, President of the Queens Jewish Community Council; District Leader Shimi Pelman; Yaakov and Atara Serle; and Alan Sherman, co-president of the Mid-Queens Community Council. There were various other Jewish groups from the Conservative and Reform movements that also participated.

By Shabsie Saphirstein