By Stephanie Goodling
Dr. Michael “Mickey” Ufberg, z”l, left behind a lasting legacy in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. After his passing in June, the Maimonides Society knew they wanted to do something special to honor the memory of Ufberg, who was one of the Society’s founders. Entering its 35th year, membership in the Society connects healthcare professionals who share a commitment to helping the Jewish people and demonstrate their commitment to the broader community.
Other co-founders include Drs. Douglas Blake, Gene Ginsburg, Larry Levitt and Stuart Schwartz. Levitt remembers being there with Ufberg from the beginning, with meetings alternating between the Ufbergs’ and the Levitts’ basements 35 years ago. As created by its founders, the Maimonides Society holds academic and social programs during the course of the year, and most of topical interest are open to the entire community.
“Mickey was an exceptional human being and did so many things that most people didn’t know about, but he did it in a humble and quiet way,” said Levitt. “He was an exemplary human being, as a physician, as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather, and as a friend.”
“Mickey was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. His intelligence, generosity, leadership, family, friendship, morality and humility made him admired and respected by everyone. We were all so blessed to have him in our lives,” agreed long-time friend and Federation supporter Vicki Wax.
It is because of the impact of Ufberg’s kind and humble character that the leaders of Maimonides today have decided to donate an ambucycle in Israel in his memory on their upcoming mission to Israel. Ambucycles are ambulances on two wheels, which enable responders to save lives despite traffic congestion in Israel. Federation donated its first ambucycle a few years ago when celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Maimonides Society, and now more lives will be saved due to the generosity of donors who want to honor Ufberg.
“It recognizes his contribution, and this ambucycle will provide a legacy in saving lives daily, which is what the first one did, for a generation,” said Levitt.
Ufberg’s widow, Eileen, has expressed her gratitude to the outpouring of love that has come in to support the ambucycle effort. “My husband’s unwavering support, love and dedication to Judaism and Israel was always central in his life. What a touching and amazing tribute! I am so privileged to live in such a supportive and incredible community and to be surrounded by family and friends as I am,” she said.
The current president of Maimonides, Dr. Bill Markson, encourages anyone who wishes to honor Ufberg’s memory to make a gift to the Jewish Federation in support of the ambucycle.
Federation will dedicate this ambucycle, memorializing Ufberg, during a bike mission to Israel, scheduled for March 23 to April 1, 2022. Anyone who is interested in the mission to Israel is welcome to join the group.
“The proposed trip is something that’s going to emphasize an active outdoor view of Israel,” said Markson. Explaining that the donation of the ambucycle will be a highlight of the trip, along with a visit to doctors at the Western Galilee Medical Center (to which Ufberg himself was a donor) and in the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether region in Yoav, he also added, “We’ll be visiting beautiful places, and those who are interested will have the chance to bike in the morning, and there will be interesting activities each afternoon.”
To donate to the ambucycle in memory of Dr. Mickey Ufberg, z”l, or to learn more about the mission, contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.