Directors General Through the Years

ד"ר משה וולך Dr. Moshe Wallach
Shaare Zedek's First Director and Chief Medical Officer
Served 1902-1947

Arriving in Palestine as a young man of 26, his life-long mission was to help every human. He fought fiercely against his patients diseases, using anything he had at his disposal, even prescribing milk, meat and vegetables for the malnourished. He even made home visits throughout jerusalem (before the establishment of Israel) by donkey. As a medical pioneer, he performed the country's first tracheotomy and introduced inoculation against diphtheria. Throughout his long years of service, Dr. Wallach ran the hospital with iron discipline, traditional Jewish observance and compassionate care. 

Dr. Wallach, who founded the Shaare Zedek Hospital and managed the institution for forty-five years, was instrumental in providing modern medical care to Jerusalem residents since his arrival in the city in 1891. He dedicated his life to medicine, to the Jewish community in Jerusalem , and to improving the quality of service provided by the existing medical establishment. 

He was one of the most outstanding personalities in a city and community that at the time was struggling for existence. The Jewish religious character that marks today’s Shaare Zedek hospital was determined 100 years ago by Dr. Wallach, who integrated the ancient Jewish moral spirit into a modern medical service tradition. While fulfilling his daily tasks, both as a practicing physician and as the hospital-director, Dr. Wallach became a role model to those who followed him. He mixed freely with the elite and his personal relations with local dignitaries, political figures, influential westerners, intellectuals, and important foreign diplomats contributed significantly to the growth, success, and reputation the hospital enjoyed during the last century. 
In parallel, he was personally involved with new immigrants to Eretz Israel who had low means, and actively engaged in finding jobs, housing, and employment for them.


 

שוועסטר זלמה מאייר
Schwester Selma Meyer
Head Nurse 
Served 1916-1984

Schwester Selma's compassionate nursing established Shaare Zedek's model of care for all time. She arrived from Germany in 1916, in the midst of a typhoid epidemic in Jerusalem, which she tackled with competence and care. 
In 1936, she founded and directed Shaare Zedek's School of Nursing, on which her imprint still remains. 
Described by Time magazine as a living saint and "something of an angel". Selma Meyer passed away on her 100th birthday in the hospital which she had served almost her entire adult life. Her autobiography My Life at Shaare Zedek features momentous memories of her dramatic decades of service.


 

ד"ר פאלק שלזינגר Dr. Falk Schlesinger
Director and Chief Physician
Served 1947-1968

This dedicated physician steered Shaare Zedek through two historic decades, from before the establishment of the State of Israel to the period following the Six-Day War. 
During the War of Independence Shaare Zedek was Jerusalem's only surgical hospital not cut off by the enemy, and received a constant stream of new patients every day. 
Dr. Schlesinger pioneered the field of Halacha-based medical ethics in Israel. The saving of human life was always Dr. Schlesinger's first priority. 


 

פרופ' דוד מאייר Professor David Maeir
Director General
Served 1968-1981

This brilliant doctor, whose specialty was pathology, brought a different style of leadership to the hospital from his native United States. 
He was the driving force behind the building of the new Medical Center, planning it and overseeing the 1978-1979 move from the historic original building on Jaffa Road to today's state-of-the-art Medical Center opposite Mount Herzl.


 

פרופ' יונתן הלוי Professor Jonathan Halevy
Director General
Has been serving since 1988

Shaare Zedek's first Israeli-born director-general graduated "summa cum laude" from Tel-Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine. Prof. Halevy served as a military doctor with the rank of Major from 1973 to 1977. 
He is a gastroenterologist who specializes in diseases of the liver. He has undergone advanced training at Yale Medical School, and is widely published in prestigious medical journals. Prof. Halevy is dedicated to excellence in medicine and nursing care and stresses the importance of treating the person, not just the desease. 
From 2000 until 2006, Prof. Halevy served as Chairman of the Israel Center for Organ Transplantation.