Back to Mount Scopus

The Fellowship  |  May 17, 2017

A large concrete building with a light blue sky above it.
Back to Mount Scopus

The Fellowship’s faithful friends support many projects in the Holy Land that provide for the Israeli people. One of these, Hadassah Medical Center, continues to treat Israelis with all manner of ailments and injuries. But Hadassah’s campus on Mount Scopus has a story that many might not know. Writing at Israel Hayom, Ellen Hershkin provides the history of this hospital that once again returned to the people of Israel with the reunification of Jerusalem fifty years ago:

“I was sitting by the door of the bus, holding a scalpel, the only weapon I had. A fire broke out in the back of the bus. People were shouting, ‘We’re on fire!’ I jumped up. The blade of the scalpel broke. I ran in a zigzag along the road. I passed the ambulance and approached the escort vehicle, waving the broken scalpel. I pounded on the window and shouted, ‘I’m one of yours!’ The door opened. Everyone inside had been wounded or killed.'”

This is a story told by Nathan Sandovsky, who was a security guard when Arab forces ambushed a convoy bringing medical supplies and staff to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus on April 13, 1948.

This month, we mark 50 years since Jerusalem was reunified and Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, one of the city’s symbols, was restored to its residents. The Hadassah hospitals, which began serving the citizens of Jerusalem even before the establishment of the state, comprise an integral part of the Jerusalem mosaic. Like the city and its residents, they have undergone many changes throughout the years. The history of Jerusalem is carved into the stones that make up the hospital walls…

The hospital was a trailblazer in an unpopulated area, intended to serve the Jewish neighborhoods that would be built around it. In 1934, the cornerstone was laid for what was to become the most prestigious and advanced hospital in the Middle East. It was not long before the shouts of joy were replaced with sounds of slaughter as 78 people were murdered on the Hadassah convoy. No one ever imagined that the hospital that had opened only a decade earlier would stand abandoned for 19 years…