Hospital fevers rise over club donation

A scandal has broken out in the city of Netanya over a decision by the Maccabi Netanya soccer club to donate a portion of the proceeds of this week's game against Beitar Jerusalem, which Beitar won by a score of 2-1, to the Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva and not to the local Laniado Hospital, reports Laniado Hospital officials and curent Acting-Mayor Rabbi Shimon Sher all expressed their disappointment with the decision, saying that charity should begin at home. According to the report, the Maccabi Netanya soccer club recently announced that it and its sponsor company, Migdal Makefet, had reached an agreement in which five shekels from each ticket sold for the game would be donated to the Schneider Children's Hospital. A Laniado official responded to the announcement with disappointment, saying that the hospital was based on donations and served the entire Netanya area, including its children. And Rabbi Sher responded with the traditional phrase, "Aniyei eineha mulha," ("the poor in front of your eyes"), an expression roughly equivalent to the English adage, "Charity begins at home." "We have never told any person or any organization where and to whom to donate," Sher said. "Despite this, the sages said, and correctly so, 'Aniyei eineha mulha'." Sher urged the club to rethink its decision, saying it was unfair and illogical that money raised by the city's own taxpayers should be transferred to another city, especially when people were suffering in the home city. A Maccabi Netanya spokesman said the club was "angry and ashamed" that it should be criticized when it was only trying to do some good for sick children. He said the idea had come about because the sponsor company had a relationship with the Schneider chldren's hospital, and it had asked the club to help out. The spokesman added that the club had cooperated with Laniado hospital in the past and would continue to do so in the future.