Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Next Generation

I've put up a post on the Times of Israel about a topic that is unrelated to this blog. It discusses the inappropriate way (at least, as I perceive it) in which the epidural is being marketed as the default option for obstetric analgesia at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center. 

The post is primarily a reaction to an article in a promotional brochure that came with one of the Friday papers, in honor of the dedication of Shaare Zedek's new "Next Generation" building.

Another article in the brochure talks about the building itself, how it was financed, the facilities contained within it. The facilities and services themselves are all very impressive (when they're not pushing the epidural ...). According to the article, the building was planned to incorporate numerous "green" elements:

"We are very sensitive to environmental issues. Shaare Zedek is situated in an urban environment and it was important to us to be well integrated within it [...] Wherever possible we chose green construction."

Here is a photo of the SZMC complex in Jerusalem's Bayit VeGan neighborhood,  with the new Next Generation building on the right. I scanned this image from the back cover of the promotional brochure -- the hospital's marketers seem to think it's impressive:

I guess, for them, this constitutes being embedded in an urban context.

By way of comparison, here's the "old-generation" Shaare Zedek building on Jaffa Road:

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons -- I, Sir Kiss

And just for fun -- here are links to a couple of paintings of the old Shaare Zedek building, by the well-known Jerusalem painter Rivkah Goldberg. The paintings were executed in 1995, during a period when the building was unoccupied (before it became the Israel Broadcasting Authority's headquarters). A front view is here; a back view is here. Sad that even the back view of an old abandoned hospital building, overrun with weeds and rickety old furniture, is more compelling than the front view of its brand-new, state-of-the-art, and "green" successor.

Rifkah Goldberg is my idea of an urban painter. New Urbanists talk about the "outdoor room" -- Goldberg paints it. Often quite literally, with furniture. Check out especially the Jerusalem Chairs and the Jerusalem Neighborhoods and Yards section of her site.

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