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SA Jewry donates two medi-cycles to MDA




“It has everything an ambulance has, except for a bed,” says Eli Beer in the ABOVE VIDEO. Beer was the originator of the concept when, as a young EMT on an MDA ambulance in Jerusalem, he realised that brutal urban traffic often meant first-responders arrived too late to help

A special dedication ceremony was recently held at the Jerusalem station of Israel’s (MDA) Magen David Adom (emergency and first responder service) to dedicate two three-wheeled “medi-cycles” donated by South Africans through the very active MDA-SA.

Medi-cycles are a great help to first responders as they carry many life-saving essentials including an AEDS (Automated External Defibrillator System) and a small portable oxygen tank, and allow the responders to navigate narrow or crowded streets.

The Jerusalem MDA station, originally built with South African funding, said at the dedication that with their fleet of 200-odd cycles, their first-responders are getting to emergencies far more quickly.

medi cyclesMDA2

Trying out the donated Medi-cyles are Caryn Yavin and Trevor Wainer. PIC: COURTESY MAGEN DAVID ADOM

What is to all intents and purposes a scooter ambulance, these three-wheelers with a qualified volunteer paramedic at helm, siren blazing, slithers through the traffic, to the patient. The sleek Italian bike has proven its worth – saving precious minutes before its larger colleague, the standard ambulance or mobile intensive care unit (MICU), can get through traffic and take over the pre-hospital care.


The first medi-cycle handed over was donated by Maxi Kosher Butchery. Trevor Wainer and Max Klass wanted to find a way to assist Israel during the 2014 rocket attacks that led up to the incursion into Gaza. “We discussed what we could do for Israel,” says Trevor, and it was Max’s son, Lee, who suggested the idea of raising funds for MDA to buy a medi-cycle.

Before long the pair decided to give five per cent of their turnover for a specified time to MDA-SA and ask customers to donate as well. Before long they had raised R263 176. “Max and I never ever had this on our bucket list,” said Trevor. “It just happened.”

Max and Trevor went to Israel together with Trevor’s two sons to attend last month’s dedication ceremony.

MDA Maxis

LEFT: The first medi-cycle handed over was donated by Maxi Kosher Butchery. Trevor Wainer (with pen) and Max Klass sign the R263 176 cheque while MDA’s Mark Hyman and Joe Rivkind look on. PIC: ILAN OSSENDRYVER

The second medi-cycle was donated by the Shulman family in memory of their wife, mother and grandmother Inge Shulman who passed away last year. The bike will carry her name.

Inge Shulman was a long-time serving member of Magen David Adom in South Africa. She was a member of Johannesburg Area Council until it joined with the National Council. For many years she was treasurer of Johannesburg Area Council and then became treasurer of National Council. She was made an honorary life vice president for her dedication to the organisation. Inge’s niece (Caryn Yavin) attended the dedication ceremony and spoke on behalf of the Shulman family.

All MDA vehicles are currently undergoing a re-branding from white to yellow to ensure they stand out more. Friends of MDA around the world are hoping to have added another 50 medi-cycles to the fleet by year’s end. The newest-version of the scooter is the Piaggio MP3. Its front wheels and 250cc motor are much safer and can carry a heavier load.

The current version of the three-wheeled ambulance, the Piaggio MP3, carries a spare battery, a defibrillator and many medical supplies normally carried in an ambulance. In congested areas, it allows first-responders to be on the scene, fully equipped, a lot faster than an ambulance can. It will carry the name of MDA-SA and Maxi’s Butchery on its side.

Caryn Yavin’s speech at the dedication:


“It struck me, when I was offered this opportunity to speak about my late Aunt Inge Shulman’s involvement with the MDA, that I actually knew very little about it.


How could I not know that her extraordinary humanitarian commitment spanned a period of over 50 years!? She served on the Johannesburg Area Council and the National Council. She was treasurer, and she was made an Honorary Life Vice President. Her tireless fund-raising involvement, included raising money for this very Station in Jerusalem. People spoke to me of Inge’s efficiency, responsibility, availability and tremendous dedication to the MDA.


MDA logo NewHow come I didn’t really know all this? Somewhere, in the back of my memory, I vaguely remember the topic of the MDA surfacing, when I was growing up.


I started to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about speaking today.  I loved my Aunty Inge so much. I loved her wonderful hospitality, her sense of humour, her generosity of thought and heart. Why then, did I know so little? How was I going to be able to do justice at this very special dedication ceremony?


Then, someone explained to me something else about Inge Shulman’s role with MDA, during her more than 50 impressive years of service. They told me, that throughout the years, she was everyone’s friend and confidant. That’s when it dawned on me.  I didn’t know so much about Inge’s accomplishments, because her focus was always on my well being and that of others. Not on herself.


Then I understood.


Just as Inge was always, sincerely available, for her family and friends, she extended that level of deep commitment towards her people, through her life’s work with MDA.


The dedication of this Medi-Cycle, is a most befitting way to honour and continue Inge Shulman’s legacy of caring for her people.


Before I finish, I feel it’s important to acknowledge, that Inge Shulman’s tremendous contribution, could only have reached fulfilment with the support, of equal value, of her dedicated husband, Philip Shulman. Philip, as a life blood donor, expressed his humanitarian spirit, literally with his own blood. This was alongside his wife Inge, who had the cause of MDA truly in her heart.”

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