Elana Shap
October 31, 2023

Supplying breastmilk to preemies or babies with medical conditions has always been the main drive of Magen David Adom’s Sussman Family Foundation Human Milk Bank

Overnight, the events of October 7 changed that. Tragically, babies of mothers kidnapped, murdered or injured in the Hamas carnage are the latest recipients.  

Set up by the organization that is Israel’s equivalent to the Red Cross, the milk bank went into emergency mode in the aftermath of the attack, sending out urgent appeals for donations of pumped or frozen breastmilk. Friends and family members of the victims also joined this drive.

Photo courtesy of MDA
Photo courtesy of MDA

Celine Ben-David Nagar, one of the Israelis Hamas kidnapped from the Supernova rave, is the colleague of Shira Zilka-Horesh, 33. 

On hearing the news , Zilka-Horesh immediately contacted Ben-David Nagar’s husband Ido, father of Eli, their three-month-old baby. Eli, who had been breastfed, would need an urgent supply of donated milk. Hundreds of breastfeeding woman responded to the Facebook post and message she sent out on her neighborhood’s WhatsApp group.  

One of these women was Dr. Yasmin Farhadian, 35, a gynecologist at Wolfson Medical Center who had given birth to her daughter a few months previously. Farhadian had a store of 20 liters of frozen breastmilk that she planned to use after her maternity leave. She decided to donate it all. 

Dr. Yasmin Farhadian took this picture of her pumped breastmilk. She donated all 20 liters to feed Hamas victims’ babies.
Dr. Yasmin Farhadian took this picture of her pumped breastmilk. She donated all 20 liters to feed Hamas victims’ babies.

As she wrote on Facebook: “There are many exciting civil initiatives at the moment, this one touches my heart in a special way: hundreds of women from all over the country are opening their souls and freezers, offering breast milk to babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed them. Bags of pumped milk, pumping of fresh milk and even offers to breastfeed real babies. Those who breastfeed or pump know from what deep place such an offer comes from.”

To donate or receive milk for a baby in need, contact milkbank@mda.org.il, call 073-263-0200 or send a WhatsApp to 052-263-0200.

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