In a ceremony held recently in the Knesset, Matnat Chaim’s founder and chairman, Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber was awarded the “Health Minister’s Shield”, a prestigious award presented annually to outstanding volunteers in the health and medical fields. The recipients are carefully selected from among scores of candidates and only those who represent exceptional examples of dedication and commitment are chosen.
“I’m very honored to have been chosen to receive this prize, both personally and on behalf of Matnat Chaim”, said Rabbi Heber at the ceremony. “I hope that we will be successful in our goal of making Israel the first Western country without a waiting list for kidney transplants.”
Along with the Heber family, the ceremony was attended by some of Matnat Chaim’s staff members and volunteers as well as a number of kidney donors and recipients; among them were a donor and recipient pair, Elana Dror from Givat Zeev and her recipient, Elchanan. “I was very glad to attend the ceremony honoring Rav Heber, who has saved the lives of hundreds of kidney patients,” Elana remarked. “I donated to Elchanan nearly two years ago and we both feel great! Hopefully we will continue to attract more and more volunteer kidney donors and move towards elimination of the waiting list.
From the selection committee:
The Health Minister’s Shield for outstanding volunteers is hereby awarded to Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Heber. Rabbi Heber, a Jerusalem resident born in 1965, is the founder of the Matnat Chaim organization which encourages living kidney transplants. The organization recruits volunteer kidney donors and matches them to patients who require transplants. The organization is run on a strictly voluntary and transparent basis in accordance with Israeli law and with halacha. Rabbi Heber is determined to change Israelis’ perception of living kidney donation and to save the lives of hundreds of kidney patients.
Mazal tov to Rabbi Heber and Matnat Chaim!