It’s an interfaith effort: a Christian charity funded by private donors is bringing Syrian refugee children into Israel for heart surgery.
Shevet Achim, whose name means “brothers dwelling together,” has been quietly arrange transport for Syrian youngsters from their countries of refuge into Israeli hospitals. So far, at least six children have made the trip.
Jonathan Miles, the group’s founder, has been helping to facilitate Israeli medical treatment for Arab children born with heart defects for the last 23 years. Between 10 and 20 children come to Israel each month, typically from the Gaza Strip or Iraq, and now Syria.
Israel’s public health insurance program, coupled with the generosity of doctors, makes Israeli treatment an inexpensive option compared to treatment at other Western hospitals. Surgeries cost around $8,000 including the cost of temporary stay in Israel.
The group’s philosophy, said Miles, is that “every human being is worthy of the same medical care you or I would want for our children.”
Shevet Achim isn’t the only charity bringing Syrians for treatment inside Israel. Amaliah, an American organization helmed by Israeli Moti Kahana, helps transport Syrians from villages in southern Syria to receive care in Israeli hospitals.
Contact Naomi Zeveloff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The Christian Charity Bringing Syrians Children To Israel For Lifesaving Heart Surgery