Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital is named after two brothers, Alphonse and Ya’akov Avraham Laniado, who were from the city of Haleb (Aleppo), Syria. They immigrated to Switzerland, where they managed a family bank. In their will, they specified that their estate be used to found a hospital named “Laniado” in Eretz Israel. The brothers provided the preliminary funds to found the hospital, while the remaining funds were collected by the Klausenberg Rebbe of the Sanz dynasty. The Klausenberg Rebbe (Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah Halberstam, of righteous memory) is from the Sanz chassidic dynasty, founded Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital in 1976. He had lost his wife, eleven children, and many other family members in the Holocaust. He was left to face the unimaginable suffering of that time alone. Many miracles and remarkable stories are told of the Rebbe’s ordeals during the Holocaust.
“I remember when I was shot in the hand,” the Rebbe once recounted. “I was afraid to go to the Nazi-run clinic, although it had doctors. I knew that the moment I entered that place, I would not come out alive. So what did I do after being shot? Despite my fear of the Nazis, I found a tree, picked a leaf, and held it tightly over the wound to staunch the bleeding. Then I tore off a branch and tied it around the wound to hold the leaf in place. With God’s help, I recovered in three days. At that point, I resolved that if God granted me life and I was healed—for I looked like a walking skeleton, a musselm—and if I left this place and the evil Nazis, then I would build a hospital. It would be founded with doctors and nurses who believed that there is a God in this world. They would know that when they heal a patient, they are doing the greatest mitzvah in the Torah.”
The hospital is a public non-profit institution under the supervision of an international board of trustees. The hospital is founded on Jewish law in every detail. Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital never goes on strike, and treats every individual regardless of religion, race, or nationality. Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital is the only hospital in the Netanya area, and it offers its services to over 250,000 people. The medical center began in 1976 as a maternity clinic. One by one, other departments were opened, including internal medicine, ophthalmology, pediatrics, surgery, ENT, intensive care, gynecology, dialysis, hematology, gastroenterology, oncology, angiography, and orthopedics.
The medical center was mainly constructed by generous donations from benefactors for the building, equipment, instruments, and the daily operating budget. In order to ensure regular funding, “Friends of Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital” organizations were established in many countries, under the leadership of the international board of trustees.
Next to the medical center, a number of out-patient clinics serve the area residents. These include clinics for gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics, surgery, neurology, ophthalmology, ENT, and cardiology.
The medical center uses the most modern methods: its instruments, equipment, and expert staff have given the Sanz Medical Center its reputation as one of the leading hospitals in Israel.
The Admor (the late Klausenberger Rebbe) expressed his vision for creating a hospital in his founding statement:
“To strive as far as possible to ease the pain and suffering of the patients, and to improve their emotional and spiritual state.” Sanz Medical Center–Laniado Hospital has adopted as its motto the Admor’s worldview: “The hospital will aid every person, and this aid will not be technical assistance alone—it will come from the heart. In this hospital, the staff will work as professionals without forgetting the most important aspects of compassion, warmth, and empathy for the patient.”