About

Mission Statement

The mission of American Friends of Assuta Ashdod Hospital (AFAAH) is to promote and support the Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital – a unique Israeli medical institution. Our goal is to build awareness and recognition of Assuta Ashdod’s excellent healthcare service for all people in need.

Raising financial contributions and fostering medical collaborations will help Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital provide the residents of the historically underserved region of Ashdod immediate, quality medical care as well as bring scientific and medical innovation that will impact not only Israel but the whole world.

Activities

Identify and foster relationships with key influencers in the Jewish American and philanthropic communities.

Plan and coordinate conferences to highlight and share best practices in Assuta Ashdod with American medical professionals.

Identify and introduce collaborations between Assuta Ashdod and U.S. hospitals and research centers to further scientific and medical innovation.

Plan and coordinate Israel missions and donor visits.

Identify and facilitate volunteer opportunities/sabbaticals for medical professionals.

Board members

Eli Nhaissi

Chairman

Graduating from Hebrew University with a BA degree in 1964, Eli Nhaissi joined the new RAFI party formed by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. Eli worked hand in hand with the late Shimon Peres, Moshe Dayan, Teddy Kollek, Yitzhak Navon- Israel’s fifth president, and others. In the 1965 election, the RAFI party won 10 parliament seats. In late 1966, Eli arrived in New York to complete his MBA degree and to trade in diamonds imported from Israel. In 1985, following a successful career in the diamond business, Eli founded Aerotel, Ltd. in Israel, with the late Zvi Kamil, widely regarded as one of Israel’s top scientists.  Aerotel developed communication and medical devices, inventing the pre-paid phone technology that it licensed to major communications companies in the USA, UK, Japan and Israel. Today Eli is the major shareholder in Israel of two medical device companies, an internet company, and a cybersecurity company. Eli and his two sons manage the companies, as well as a major diamond and precious stone company.

David Gordon

Vice President

David Gordon is the founder and president of the Gordon Companies, providing risk management and insurance services. Since 1968, David has been president of I. David Gordon Associates, Inc. a boutique insurance broker, agent and advisor. David is secretary of Delaware Physicians Insurance Purchasing Group, Inc., Delaware Professional Insurance Company, Risk Retention Group and Sovereign Risk Purchasing Group.  He is also president of the Medical Specialties Insurance Purchasing Group, a unique professional liability insurance program for the members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. David is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) and Professional Liability Underwriting Society.  David holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Brooklyn College.  David’s passion and dedication to the support of Israel is boundless as he has been involved in promoting many important causes including founding the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

David Satterfield

Treasurer

David is a specialist in non‐profit accounting and compliance consulting. He serves as a professional treasurer for candidate committees, Super PACs, trade association and corporate PACs, 527 organizations, and 501(c) non‐profit organizations. With a decade of experience, David has served as Treasurer for over 80 organizations and supervised the reporting and accounting of over $70 million in receipts and disbursements and the banking and reporting of over $300 million in campaign finance activities.

Jo Anne Barnhart

As Commissioner of Social Security from 2001 – 2007 Jo Anne administered the United States retirement, survivors, and disability programs. Jo Anne also served on the Social Security Advisory Board, advising Congress on Social Security issues and policies. Jo Anne managed her own political and public policy consulting company providing services to federal, state and local governments and to candidates for public office. Other posts include serving as First Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department for Health & Social Services and Assistant Secretary for Family Support. Jo Anne served as Senator William V. Roth’s senior advisor and campaign manager for three re-election campaigns, and as Minority Staff Director for the U.S. Senate committee on Government Affairs (1986-1990).  For the past 10 years, Jo Anne has been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Craig Engle

Craig Engle is the founder of Arent Fox’s Political Law practice. He has over 30 years of experience in advising political committees, nonprofits, candidates and office holders, corporations, media companies, governments, international organizations, lobbyists and high-net-worth individuals on all aspects of campaign finance, election, tax and ethics laws, including corporate formation and governance work, and public policy strategies. Craig has served as general counsel to two presidential campaigns, co-authored three amicus briefs to the US Supreme Court, counseled over 100 candidates and Members of Congress, and personally supervised the banking and reporting of over $300 million in campaign finance activities. He has helped dozens of Arent Fox clients create corporations, non-profits, and political committees by serving as their incorporator, initial board member, and assistant treasurer.  He is a regular consultant to Congressional oversight committees and political appointees seeking to comply with federal ethics laws.

Gil Weitzman

Dr. Gil Weitzman is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, and an Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology and is an active member of the voluntary faculty for the Department of Medicine and the Division of Gastroenterology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Weitzman graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phil Beta Kappa, from Binghamton University. He received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where he received numerous awards including induction into AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha) Medical Honor Society and “The Arthur Ross Award for Academic Excellence.” During his residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Gil received the “Daniel Libby Award of Excellence” as well as the “Cornell Medical School Excellence in Teaching” awards.

Rivka Kidron

Rivka Kidron is a leading strategist and political consultant whose career is driven by a passion for Israel and a commitment to the Jewish people. Rivka served as an Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 2009 – 2013 managing key relationships with Jewish and Christian institutions across the world. She established a consulting firm serving international organizations, foundations, government and business leaders. Her firm takes on high profile projects that further new partnerships, develop strategy, and advise policy. Rivka also curates tailor-made trips for VIP delegations to Israel and has worked with groups of U.S. members of Congress, members of Parliament, actors, journalists, and investors, among others. Rivka is a founder and board member of Passages, a program that brings thousands of young Christian leaders to Israel every year. Prior to joining the Prime Minister’s office, Rivka spent several years in the private sector working in the venture capital and high tech industries. Born in New York, Rivka made Aliyah to Israel as a child. Rivka holds a B.A. in Economics and M.A. in Public Management from Bar Ilan University.

Yossi Peled

Yossi Peled was born Jozef Mendelevich in Belgium in 1941. During World War II, his parents entrusted him and his sister to a Catholic family. Yossi’s entire immediate family – except his mother – was killed in Auschwitz. After the war, he reunited with his mother and they made their way to Palestine with the assistance of the Jewish Brigade. Yossi is the living embodiment of “never again.” A Holocaust survivor, he went on to have a distinguished 30-year career in the Israel Defense Forces reaching the rank of Major-General and, symbolically, he chose to Hebraicize his family name to Peled, which is Hebrew for “steel.”Yossi fought in four of Israel’s wars. During the Six-Day War, he was a company commander in the Armored Corps, serving in the Southern Command. During the Yom Kippur War, he was in charge of a Tank Brigade on the Golan Heights.  Yossi’s final military position (1986-1991) was head of the IDF’s Northern Command – responsible for Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon. In 1996, Yossi joined the Likud party and in 2009 was elected to the Knesset. He served as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office until 2012, under PM Netanyahu. Today, Yossi serves as the Chairman of the Board at the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, a museum portraying the works of the Righteous Among the Nations, an honorific used to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jewish lives.  For Yossi, his life has come full circle.