11-year-old Israeli childrens hospital taps Lowenberg

"Twenty years ago, that baby would have died. I tell you, it'll blow your mind what they do to save these little kids," said Lowenberg, who was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel.

"This place really saves lives and keeps families going. They do transplants, from liver to kidney to lungs. And the preemies — there are pound, pound-and-a-half babies they save there. It really makes me feel something good has come out of science."

Located in Petach Tikvah near Tel Aviv, the hospital was founded in 1991 by Helen and Irving Schneider, Lowenberg's longtime friends. The hospital serves children of all ages and races, with young patients hailing from throughout Israel, Palestinian areas, Jordan and even Africa, Asia and Europe. The Web site is at www.scmci.org.il

With its exclusive focus on children, "it's the only hospital like it in the Middle East. There's nothing like it until you reach the U.S.," said Lowenberg, an active member of the Bay Area Jewish community and the chairman of Lowenberg Corp., a real estate company. "They take care of anyone. Jews, Arabs, Christians, you name it."

Lowenberg has been closely involved in the hospital his friends founded since day one, but, in his new position, he'll take on a new responsibility — "raising money, of course."

"On these boards, there's no free lunch," said the San Franciscan with a chuckle. "I'd like to raise some money [for the hospital] in this area. I feel this is an important thing to do because it helps, it makes a dent."

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.