Amended Article: Israel’s Medical Clown Maya Ben-David


72Not too long ago, YWN-ISRAEL wrote of the plight of a troubled medical clown employed by Hadassah Hospital. That article contained a number of inaccuracies which the clown, Maya Ben-David requested we correct to set the public straight. The following article is the corrected version as understood today.

Maya insists on telling readers “We apologize for any inconvenience caused as a result to Hadassah Hospital & Dream Doctors project. I would like to express my gratitude to Hadassah, working with such a wonderful hospital and staff as well as extending my gratitude to the Dream Doctor Project for the great opportunities they opened for me in my life as medical clown”.

Maya, a veteran medical clown who works in hospitals in Israel, encountered financial difficulties due to the financial crisis faced by Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. She has however extricated herself from the financial hardships with the aid of an NGO that assists women in financial distress.

As is the case at times in life, her salvation came from an unexpected place. When her computer broke, technician Eyal Ben-Yaakov spoke to her about an organization called Latet which assists women in financial distress. The organization assisted her in developing a business plan and provided support while she was recovering. Now, a year later, she is standing on her own and does not depend solely on her hospital income.

The NGO worked with her in developing a business program – performances and clown shows for children. At the same time her website was constructed with the assistance of a loan and a grant to buy required equipment. Later, she was assigned a mentor who accompanied her as she built the business.

“My mental health was not good and my economic situation was difficult. The coordinator of the NGO built a business model with me, supporting me in writing a vision for the future that detailed who I am and what I can to be so I would no longer have to be dependent on outside sources” Maya explains.

Maya explains at no time did she think of leaving Hadassah, explaining she arrived day in and day out to bring smiles to the faces of children. “I never gave up” she exclaims.

When asked how she managed during the economic hardships, Maya explains simply this is the essence of a clown, to give hope and a spark of joy and optimism and this is what she did for herself during the hard times.

In conclusion, Maya Ben-David thanks the director of Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, Dr. Osnat Lev Tzion, who made great efforts to assist her along with the entire team of medical clowns to reduce the adverse impact of the crisis for all of them.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)