All members of the American Israel Numismatic Association (AINA) who have paid their 2019 dues will receive a free membership medal commemorating the centennial of Magen David Adom (meaning Red Shield of David).
New members can send $25 annual dues to AINA, P.O. Box 20255, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269, or can call 818-225-1348; members will also receive four issues of the award-winning Shekel Magazine, The Journal of Israel and Jewish History and Numismatics. The medal alone can be obtained for $5 postpaid.
A catalog of all AINA membership medals issued, beginning in 1973, can be viewed at www.theshekel.org/medal.php.
The first appearance of Magen David Adom was not in Israel – or even in the Holy Land. The first use of Magen David Adom was during the Anglo Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902) when it was used by the Ambulance Corps founded by Ben Zion Aaron in Johannesburg as a first aid corps to assist the Boer forces. Permission was given by President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic for the Star of David to be used as its insignia, rather than the conventional red cross.
The Magen David Adom organization was formed in the British Mandate of Palestine by nurse Karen Tenenbaum in 1930 as a volunteer association with a single branch in Tel Aviv.
After opening branches in Jerusalem and Haifa, it was extended nationwide five years later, providing medical support to the public including not only Jews but Arabs (Muslim, Druze and Christian).
On July 12, 1950, the Knesset passed a law making MDA’s status as Israel’s national emergency service official.
In the late 1960s, the organization refocused its rapid trauma treatment and transport protocols.
Though MDA currently staffs approximately 2,000 emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and emergency physicians, it still relies heavily on over 15,000 volunteers who serve in both operational and administrative capacities.
The organization now operates 119 stations throughout the State of Israel, with a fleet of over 1,000 ambulances nationwide, and has an annual budget of about $180 million.
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