News & Jews- Make-A-Wish Israel Unveils New Ambassadors in the Wake of October 7 Attacks

(From R-L) Denise Bar-Aharon, Noa Kirel and Sylvan Adams (Credit – Shauli Lendler).jpg

    Tel Aviv – April 1, 2024 – Israeli-Canadian businessman and philanthropist Sylvan Adams hosted the unveiling ceremony for Make-A-Wish Israel’s newest ambassadors at his private residence in Tel Aviv last night. The new ambassadors will work to fulfil the wishes of children with critical illnesses in Israel, including those physically wounded with multi-system trauma by the attacks on October 7th.
    Make-A-Wish Israel is an integral part of the international organization that serves children in 50 countries and was founded in the United States in 1980. Its mission is to fulfil the wishes of children aged 3-18 who are battling critical illnesses.
    Denise and Avi Bar-Aharon established the Israeli branch of Make-A-Wish in 1996 in memory of Denise’s brother, David Spero. Since its inception, the foundation has granted over 5,500 life-changing wishes for sick children in Israel.

From R-L – Denise Bar-Aharon, Sylvan Adams and Yoav Gross. Credit – Hila Aizinger

    During the ceremony, the foundation’s founders, Denise and Avi Bar-Aharon, bestowed of title of Global Goodwill Ambassador to Sylvan Adams, known for his efforts to enhance Israel’s global reputation, particularly following the October 7 attacks. In addition, Yoseph Haddad, Eden Hasson, Bar Refaeli, Niv Sultan, Kevin Rubin, Shahar Hauon and Odeya Azoulay were also selected amongst others as new ambassadors this year.
    It was an emotional event that included “Wish Kids,” Rotem Kalderon from Nir Oz, whose family was abducted to Gaza, and Itay Cohen from Or HaNer, who lost his eye from terrorist gunfire, standing alongside the ambassadors, as they were each recognized as new ambassadors for the foundation. The event was also attended by Make-A-Wish Israel’s board of directors, led by its chairman Yoav Gross, Dvir Benedek the foundation’s President and all the current Make-A-Wish Israel ambassadors, including Static, Noa Kirel, Lior Suchard, Neta Alchimister, Reef Neeman, Tamir Grinberg, and more. Various esteemed supporters of the organization, such as Eyal Waldman, Leon Kofler, Dalia Itzik, Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, Dudi Weizmann and Barak Vard Rosen.

(From R-L) Denise Bar-Aharon, Noa Kirel and Sylvan Adams
Credit – Shauli Lendler

    Several “Wish Kids” shared their heartfelt wish stories at the event: Eitan Fink, from Jerusalem who had been ill with cancer, said his wish had been to interview the President of the United States, and that he had fulfilled his dream thanks to Make-A-Wish Israel; Rotem Kalderon from Nir Oz, whose family was abducted to Gaza on October 7, and whose father is still held captive by Hamas, said he wished to receive goldsmith tools; and Itay Cohen from Or HaNer, who lost his eye from terrorist fire on October 7 while out cycling, said he wanted to receive a windsurfing board. During the ceremony, Sylvan Adams presented a gift of his own championship winning bike to Itay.
   Sylvan Adams, newly appointed Make-A-Wish Israel Global Goodwill Ambassador, said, “I’m honoured by the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these courageous children. While October 7th may have been marked by tragedy, today, as ambassadors for hope, we are able to rewrite the narrative, one wish at a time. Together, we’ll transform dreams into reality, spreading joy and hope. Am Yisrael Chai.”
    Denise Bar-Aharon, Make-A-Wish Israel’s Co-founder and CEO, said, “I am proud and excited to welcome Sylvan Adams and the new ambassadors to the Make-A-Wish family, with the goal of reaching every eligible child in Israel and fulfilling their greatest wish. Wishes can truly be transformational for a child and their family, and I believe that the doctors give the medicine and Make-A-Wish gives the magic.” 


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