PRESS RELEASE: Tobin Health Center to Open in Mbale


Contact: Diane Tobin
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Tobin Health Center

San Francisco, June 14, 2010 – Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, alongside Diane Tobin and her family, will dedicate the Tobin Health Center on Friday in Mbale, Uganda. The center is named in memory of Dr. Gary Tobin z”l.

The new 4,000-square foot medical facility — which features Mogen David details in the window grids, ceilings and floors — is licensed by the Minister of Health and is certified to operate a pharmacy. The ground floor of the building will serve as office space for local businesses.

Construction of the Health Center began on July 3, 2009 and provided jobs for over 50 workers from diverse backgrounds: Abayudaya Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Once it opens, the health center will serve all in the region who seek medical care. Creating jobs and providing life-saving health services are ways that the Abayudaya promote peace and cooperation with their neighbors.

The health center is a major step in the ongoing Health and Development project undertaken by the Abayudaya Executive Council and Be’chol Lashon.

According to feasibility research conducted by Be’chol Lashon in 2006, contaminated water and malaria-carrying mosquitoes posed the biggest health risks to the community. So in 2007 and 2008, with the support of Be’chol Lashon, the Abayudaya drilled wells in Nabagoye, Namonyonyi, Nasenyi, Namutumba, and Nangolo and shared access to the clean water with their neighbors. In addition, hundreds of mosquito nets were distributed to Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the region.

“I am honored to attend the opening of the health center and grateful to the donors and partners who helped us realize this dream,” said Diane Tobin, director of Be’chol Lashon. “Mazel tov to Rabbi Sizomu and the Abayudaya on this magnificent act of tzedakah. I know Gary would be proud.”

Dr. Gary A. Tobin z”l was the founder of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, of which Be’chol Lashon is an initiative. Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue) advocates for a global understanding of the Jewish people, a people that throughout history has been characterized by ethnic, cultural, and racial diversity.