$14 million raised in Los Angeles to benefit Magen David Adom

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A record of nearly $14 million was raised by the American Friends of Magen David Adom at an event in Los Angeles.

Some $5 million of the total, which goes to support the services of Magen David Adom in Israel, an official Red Cross affiliate, and will go to build a new blood services center in Israel, came from a single donor, Maurice Kanbar, the creator of SKYY Vodka.

Tuesday’s event, known as the Red Star Ball, honored David Suissa, president of Tribe Media and publisher of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal with the Humanitarian of the Year Award; Stanley Black, founder and chairman of Black Equities Group, with the Lifetime Achievement Award; and his grandson, Zach Zalben, senior vice president of Black Equities Group, with the Next Generation Award.

Three-time U.S. Olympic water polo player and 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist Merrill Moses introduced Yarin Ashkenazi, a member of the Israel Defense Forces who was almost killed by a terror attack, and Yair Schussheim, the MDA paramedic who saved him and helped him work toward recovery.

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In addition family members of MDA youth volunteer Netanel Litman, 18, and his father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, who were both killed a year ago in a terror attack   near the West Bank settlement of Otniel as they drove in a car with five other family members to the Shabbat pre-wedding celebrations of their daughter and sister, were also recognized.   Dvir Litman, 16, was presented an honorary uniform by Magen David Adom Director-General Eli Bin and a group of MDA paramedics in honor of his work to save his family in the aftermath of the attack