The Ice Bucket Challenge, which has brought in millions of dollars in donations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research since July 29, reached the Knesset Monday, when MK Dov Lipman dumped a bucket of ice water on his head.
The Ice Bucket Challenge consists of a person taking a video of himself pouring a bucket of ice water on his head and challenging his friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS research – or, better yet, do both. The New York Times reported this week that the ALS Association has received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, as opposed to $1.7 million in the same period last year, and there were 260,000 new donors.
The videos became a viral social media meme, with a variety of high-profile figures – from politicians, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), to pop singers, such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, to tech moguls, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg, to athletes, such as LeBron James and Caroline Wozniacki – taking part in the fund-raiser.
The gimmick was inspired by Pete Frates, 29, a former college baseball player who has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. People diagnosed with ALS have a life expectancy of two to five years; the disease attacks nerve cells, leading to total paralysis.
Ran Rahav, the head of one of Israel’s largest PR firms, and Lipman (Yesh Atid) both accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge on Monday.
Rahav was challenged by popular singer Eyal Golan and journalist Yoav Limor, and passed on the challenge to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah, supermodel Bar Refaeli and model-actress Noa Tishbi.
If Netanyahu turns down the Ice Bucket Challenge, he will be in good company, as US President Barack Obama did not agree to pour ice water on himself, saying he will instead donate funds to ALS research, Time
Obama was challenged by Ethel Kennedy, Justin Bieber and LeBron James, among others.
Lipman challenged his fellow Yesh Atid MKs Shimon Solomon, Yoel Razbozov and Yifat Kariv. They have yet to follow up with their own Ice Bucket Challenge videos.
Lipman said in the video that, although he poured a bucket of ice water on himself, he will still donate to ALS research.