William Davidson gives $75m. to expand Hadassah

State-of-the-art facility to be completed in 2012 will offer advanced cardiology and neurosurgery, as well as computer-guided operations.

hadassah ein karem 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
hadassah ein karem 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Hadassah Medical Organization has received an unprecedented $75 million for the construction of the planned hospitalization tower to be built on the Ein Kerem campus of Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. William Davidson, an American Jewish philanthropist, who owns Guardian Industries in Detroit, is the donor of one of the largest contributions ever made to any Jewish organization. The tower will be named in memory of his mother, Sarah W. Davidson, who was one of the founders of the Detroit branch of the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA). Hadassah was informed of the astronomical gift on Sunday at the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the building, which was attended by donors from the US, each of whom were invited to take part in the mission after pledging at least $1 million each. The building, due to be completed in 2012, when HWZOA is to celebrate its 100th anniversary, will have 14 floors and cost some $210 million. It will have 500 beds, of these 50 for intensive care, and 20 operating theaters. The state-of-the-art facility will enable Hadassah to offer advanced minimally invasive cardiology and neurosurgery as well as computer-guided operations. "I was deeply impressed by the high level of medical care that the Hadassah University Medical Center offers to all Israeli citizens and residents of the region - Jews, Christians and Muslims," said Davidson. "I am proud and happy that my donation will make it possible for the hospital to build a new hospitalization tower." Davidson said his family has had a strong connection with Hadassah and the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. It began, he said, in 1917, when Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah, was hosted in his mother's parents' home. Davidson's mother was one of the founders of the Hadassah chapter in Detroit. "I am proud to continue the ways of my family," he said through emissaries who came to Jerusalem. "It is my privilege to be a third generation of a Jewish family that supports HWZOA, which has so much influence in the Jewish world." Davidson is the president and CEO of Guardian Industries, one of the leading manufacturers of glass products for architectural construction and the auto industry. He is also the owner of the Detroit Pistons basketball team and of the Detroit Shock women's basketball team. He contributions much to many organizations, including the University of Michigan, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem and the Davidson Center in the archeological dig area near the Western Wall, which includes Robinson's Arch and where non-Orthodox groups pray in mixed services.