Haley, Netanyahu and Dershowitz Nominated as First Three Honorees of United Hatzalah’s Miracle Campaign

In the weeks leading up to Chanukah, United Hatzalah launched the Korenvaes Miracle Award to honor eight people who have championed Israel. The honorees are people who represent the value of Tikkun Olam — repairing the world. The organization put together a list of 49 candidates and asked the public to choose the top eight to be honored with a special ceremony dedicated to them at United Hatzalah’s Jerusalem headquarters during candle-lighting each night of Chanukah.

After thousands of votes flooded in, the eight people were selected from the list of 49 The first three honorees who received the highest number of votes were world leaders not only by profession but also in their love for and championing of Israel.

The first to receive the honor was United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Haley has been a stalwart champion of Israel in the United Nations, a place where anti-Israel bias in certain constituent bodies and agencies has become so commonplace that even some long-standing foes of the Jewish state have begun to acknowledge the situation.

The second nominee was none other than Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is currently on track to become the longest serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history. His current term of office ends in November 2019. Netanyahu has dedicated his life to serving Israel in the military as well as in elected public office.

Netanyahu meets with United Hatzlah CEO Moshe Teitelbaum on Chanukah

For their third nominee, voters chose an Israel advocate not strictly in the political sphere [and entered into the professional and cultural sphere of influence] by selecting Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus and civil liberties defender Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz has championed Israel as a legal expert, as an author of dozens of books (including The Case for Israel), and in the court of public opinion. Dershowitz has spent decades advocating on behalf of Israel, setting the record straight regarding Israel’s right to equal treatment on the international stage, and more recently, vocally defending Israel against BDS efforts.

Dershowitz sitting astride a United Hatzalah ambucycle

As the nights of Chanukah continue to be commemorated, so too will be the Korenvaes Miracle Award honorees chosen by the public. At the end of the holiday, one lucky voter will be selected by a raffle and will win a free trip to Israel that will include airfare, hotel accommodations and a V.I.P. tour of United Hatzalah’s headquarters and Command and Dispatch Center in Jerusalem.  

 

To support the work of United Hatzalah please click here:

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Climbing a Ladder to Save a Life

One recent morning at 8:00 AM, Dan Dikanoff, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT from Givat Shmuel, was driving in the freeway fast lane when he was suddenly alerted to a serious work accident in the vicinity. Despite being on the way to meet a client, the dedicated volunteer flicked on his red lights and siren and darted to the nearest exit. Upon exiting the fast lane, Dan hit the infamous Tel Aviv rush hour traffic. Fortunately for the injured victim, Dan was riding his ambucycle, enabling him to glide right past the heavy congestion. Within mere minutes, Dan had reached the waste recycling plant where the accident had taken place.

The scene of the rescue

As plant employees brought Dan to the injured victim, they explained that their co-worker fell into a refuse mixer and his foot got caught in the large machine. To reach the injured man, the steadfast medic needed to climb up a steep metal ladder and then down into the machine. The victim, in sheer agony, told Dan that he could not feel his foot. The medic assured the 30- year-old man that he would do everything possible to help him. One look at the situation told the veteran medic that this was not a simple rescue operation. Dan quickly requested a special extrication unit from United Hatzalah dispatch, took the man’s vital signs and encouraged him as best as possible under the circumstances.

 

Another United Hatzalah ambucycle driver arrived, followed by the special unit and an intensive care ambulance sometime later. Dan assisted the paramedic to open an IV line and administer pain relief drugs. It was decided that the only way to free the man was to cut away the machine using a blow torch.  During the 30-minute complex operation, Dan was by the man’s side, monitoring his condition and providing critical emotional support to the traumatized victim.  When the man was finally freed, Dan together with the other EMS personnel swiftly bandaged the severely damaged foot before the man was whisked away to the nearest trauma center.

 

Dan continued on to his meeting and was about 45 minutes late with his clothes stained with garbage residue. Dan’s tardiness, appearance, and smell may have initially put off his client, but after hearing the story, the man was quite proud to have Dan as his insurance agent.

To support the work of volunteers like Dan please click here:

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Speaking The Language of Women – Judge Ruchie Freier Visits United Hatzalah Women’s Unit

On Tuesday morning, The Honorable Judge Ruchie Freier stood outside United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center in the organization’s Jerusalem headquarters, surrounded by volunteer EMTs from the organization’s women’s unit and took a moment to reflect on the groundbreaking initiatives that women have achieved in the Orthodox community in Israel.

From left – Gitty Beer, Noa Zohar, Ruchie Freier, Yaffa Goldschmidt, Batsheva Gross, and Rachel Klein

“I wanted to thank you for inviting me here and making me feel so welcome at United Hatzalah of Israel. Every time I come I am completely amazed at what you do for the country in general and for women specifically. What I’ve learned today is amazing. I’ve seen what you have done and gotten to meet some of the women and I can just say Kol Hakavod (more honor to you). Kol Hakavod to the men who support these women and help us women thrive at what we do best,” Freier said.

 

Judge Freier spent the morning at the headquarters of Israel’s all-volunteer non-profit emergency medical services provider to learn about how the organization has succeeded at integrating a full women’s unit comprised of women who come from religious communities in Israel, in both the Ultra-Orthodox communities and the Muslim communities, and still serve to answer the needs of women from those communities by providing them with emergency care in times of need.

Judge Freier (Center) visits United Hatzalah dispatch Center

“Women providing care for women’s needs is something that existed from the time period of the Bible,” said Judge Freier. “We look back to when the Jews were in Egypt and it was the women who were rushing to deliver babies, it was Miriam and Yocheved who attended to these medical emergencies,” she said. Judge Freier also brought examples from her own work while serving on a local ambulance in New York. “When I was serving on a non-Jewish ambulance and we had a birth or a women’s health emergency, the other servicemen would look to me and tell me to handle the situation as they understood that it brought more comfort to the patient. It is simply logical.”

Gitty Beer (L) presenting Judge Freier with an achievement award on behalf of United Hatzalah

Founder of United Hatzalah’s women’s unit Gitty Beer added to the sentiment and explained why she felt it was necessary to establish the unit specifically in these communities to help the women receive an extra sense of comfort during treatment. “As EMS first responders, our priority is to our patient. We are all dropping whatever we are doing, rushing to a scene, using our medical knowledge that we spent months obtaining and spending all this energy and money on making sure this patient feels better. So why not take it one step further and make them feel comfortable while we are helping them? They are already suffering through a traumatic experience, why make the experience more traumatic for a woman by having a bunch of strange men gathering around her, while she is in a very vulnerable state when we could have women do it.”

 

Beer gave an analogy to explain further. “It would be similar to a person having a medical emergency in a foreign country. EMS responders from the country come and want to help and offer their help but don’t speak the same language. Then a person walks in who speaks the language of the patient. That patient would feel much better and more comfortable knowing that there is someone there whom they can communicate to on the same wavelength. This is exactly the same scenario. A woman who is providing care for a patient can immediately connect to another woman and speak the same language, even if they don’t actually speak the same language, simply because they understand more about what the patient needs and how the patient communicates. They both speak woman.”

Judge Freier (C) talking with volunteers from United Hatzalah’s women’s Unit

One of the volunteers, Yaffa Goldschmidt, told Judge Freier about her experiences in Israel as an Ultra-Orthodox woman who responds to emergencies of other women. “Whenever I go on calls, the feedback I get from the women and their husbands is incredible. It really makes a difference for people that we are there to help them when they need us especially during calls that can be of a sensitive or private nature.”

 

Before the meeting concluded Judge Freier told the volunteer EMTs and Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit volunteers who had gathered that she received inspiration from them. “You give me inspiration. You are doing what we all should be doing. Keep up the great work. You give me inspiration and renewed strength to go on and continue my work in the United States.”

 

To support the work of United Hatzalah’s Women’s Unit please click here:

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Israeli CEO’s Come Out To Support United Hatzalah In First Annual Gala in Home Country

On Monday evening, United Hatzalah of Israel held its first annual Gala Dinner event in Israel. The event took place at Avenue Event Hall in Airport City and raised a significant sum for the all-volunteer first response emergency medical services (EMS) organization.

The organization fields a volunteer network of 5,000 volunteers from across the spectrum of Israeli society. Its members are made up of EMTs, paramedics, doctors and Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit personnel. One of the hallmarks of this EMS organization is that its entire budget comes from donations, of which 30 percent come from supporters in Israel.

Chairman of United Hatzalah’s Board Mark Gerson came in from the United States in order to attend the event as well as Renee Manger of the B.L. Manger foundation who donated a new ambuboat that will serve on the Kinneret to help those in need of marine rescue on Israel’s largest freshwater lake.

Chairman of United Hatzalah’s Board Mark Gerson

 

Manger dedicated the rescue boat in memory of her father and twin brother. Manger explained that when she was young, her father had a fishing boat called the Salty Mec. Her childhood memories are filled with being out on the water with family. As soon as the idea of donating a boat to save lives in Israel came up, the board of the foundation immediately knew this was how they wanted to support United Hatzalah. The boat was inaugurated during the Gala Dinner and is named after the one that Renee knew so well from her youth, Salty Mec II.

Salty Mec II

Tzvika Hadar MC’ed the event which was attended by more than 750 supporters and philanthropists from Israel and abroad. Among the many people who attended were leaders and CEOs of large corporations and businesses in Israel who value the work of United Hatzalah.

Chairman at Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. Yair Hamburger, Israeli-born billionaire businessman Mati Kochavi, and Gill Sharatzky from Ituran all of whom received a special award of recognition from the organization for their continued support and assistance. The award was presented by President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer as well as CEO of the organization Moshe Teitelbaum and Senior Vice President Eli Pollack.    

Other V.I.P. attendees at the Gala included owner of Hapoel Be’er Sheva Alona Barkat and her husband Eli, Joint CEO’s of Castro clothing store Gabi and Etti Rotter, Former Knesset Member Leah Nas and her Husband Dr. Shlomo Nas, CEO of Pango Israel Roey Elbaz, CEO of Rimon Internet Yariv Pe’er, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser Group Kfir Avraham, CEO of the Dor Alon gas company Yaniv Yisrael, CEO of Canada-Israel Barak Rosen, Deputy CEO of Partner Yakov Trussman as well as others.

“The event was a terrific success,” said Beer. “I am very proud of all of the people who came out to support our cause tonight. It is not a simple matter for busy people to drop whatever it is that they are doing and come out to support our organization. But that is exactly what our volunteers do every day, they drop whatever they are doing and rush out to save lives. I am proud to know that our donors understand this message and came out to support us in this mission that has helped treat millions of Israelis who were in need of emergency medical assistance.”  

To support the work of United Hatzalah please click here:

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Leaving Children To Answer an Emergency

On a recent Shabbat morning, a young woman who thought she was in the early stages of pregnancy suddenly began bleeding. The woman became hysterical and fainted on the spot.  Her alarmed husband threw water on her face in an effort to awaken her. While the woman did wake up shortly afterward, she now felt strong chest pains and was convinced that she was having a heart attack. The now frantic husband called emergency services. The couple’s children were traumatized at seeing both their parents hysterical.

Not far away, Noam Alice’s 3 little boys were waiting eagerly to go to the synagogue with their father. Noam was about to leave the house when he received an alert about a woman post syncope (after fainting). The dedicated volunteer dashed outside jumped on his ambucycle and yelled to his kids “Don’t worry, Abba will be back soon.” Noam sped away as the youngsters watched their father, as they had many times before, race off to help someone.

Noam Alice

Noam arrived at the address in under 2 minutes. Entering the home, Noam was met with the chaotic scene of screaming children, a distraught woman who thought she was dying and her panic-stricken husband. The seasoned medic kept his cool and quickly took the woman’s vital signs. Finding all indicators within normal parameters, Noam realized that her elevated stress level was probably the main issue that needed to be addressed. The caring medic engaged the couple in conversation until he heard the whole story in a roundabout manner.

Noam guided both the mother and father in relaxation breathing techniques which swiftly improved the situation. The children meanwhile, seeing that their mother and father had calmed down, stopped crying and approached their parents. The caring medic spoke gently with the kids and in a relatively short time, the home was transformed into a tranquil and safe environment.

An ambulance arrived and Noam discreetly briefed the crew on the entire incident. The couple expressed their extreme gratitude to Noam for his rapid arrival and professional, sensitive care.  Noam rushed home and proceeded to take his 3 young sons to the synagogue.

Just a typical day in the life of a United Hatzalah emergency responder.  

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It Is Hard to Know Emergencies Are Happening and Do Nothing

It was Wednesday afternoon when a builder, who was working on the unfinished second story of a building, fell over the edge and crashed to the floor below. Witnesses urgently call for help.

Avi Amar from Ashdod was resting at home after a busy police shift when he was alerted to the emergency. The dedicated volunteer instantly brushed off his weariness, grabbed his helmet and dashed to his ambucycle. Avi sped past traffic and raced to the location in record time.

Rushing inside with his medical kit, Avi found the 45-year-old victim lying motionless on the floor, suffering from a significant head wound. The United Hatzalah volunteer EMT expertly staunched the bleeding and bandaged the wound. He provided initial stabilization and prepped the victim for transport to the trauma center.

Avi Amar on his ambucycle

Avi is one of the most active volunteers in the Ashdod area and due to the unique abilities of his driving prowess and his ambucycle to cut through traffic, Avi is often the first on scene at motor vehicle accidents. In one particularly challenging call, a vehicle was driving on a primitive overpass in Nir Galim when it tumbled off the side. Avi once again raced to the location, his ambucycle enabling him to drive safely down the confining path. Avi found the car on its side after having sustained significant structural damage. The United Hatzalah volunteer found the victim suffering from multiple wounds, including suspected spinal injuries. He affixed a neck brace and then began to check for broken bones. An ambulance arrived and was waiting farther away where the road was wider, and Avi assisted as the victim was carried to the ambulance for transport to the hospital.

“Emergencies happen all around us at all times. It is hard to know that these things are happening and do nothing. I feel that it is a responsibility to help others and treat those who require medical attention whenever and wherever I can. My ambucycle helps me do that, as does my experience as a first responder,” said Amar.  

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United Hatzalah Sets Out to Curate Next Generation of Philanthropists

Over the month of November, a new project began that will empower the next generation of community leaders to build a strong and successful support network of young professional philanthropists in the United States. The project dubbed the ’30 Under 30; Doing Well & Doing Good’  includes business leaders under the age of 30 that are committed to supporting the emergency medical service work of United Hatzalah of Israel.

 

The exclusive group of inductees have already proven their mettle by committing to raise or contribute significant funds to Israel’s national emergency first response organization United Hatzalah. Now, the young leaders will join together to raise further awareness and funds for the organization by engaging their peers and promoting the work that the organization does, both in Israel and around the globe. To assist them, Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel is organizing mentors for the young leaders to help guide them in both their philanthropic and business endeavors. The first mentor that will be meeting with the group is CEO and Co-Founder of Global Credit Advisers, Steve Hornstein.  

Each participant has been hand-picked based on their professional achievements paired with their fund-raising commitments and will be given access to esteemed mentors in order to empower them to grow the organization in their own communities. They will work individually and together to build a network of support across the United States.  

The mentors include such personalities as Mark Gerson, Miriam Klein-Feldt, Raanan Agus and others, many of whom make up the International leadership of United Hatzalah.

The 30 Under 30 group is expected to meet on a monthly basis to brainstorm and exchange business strategies and ideas with regard to how to build the organizational brand in their own communities. By using their own expertise, and the combined expertise of one another, these leaders are about to make a very large social impact.

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “I cannot stress how much weight our organization puts in developing the philanthropic ideals of the previous generation into the leaders of tomorrow. These select few will help us achieve the dual goal of tightening the bond between U.S. and Israeli Jewry as well as saving lives. It inspires me to see such fervor among the next generation and a strong understanding of their own communal responsibility towards all people in Israel regardless of religion, race, gender or politics. Their work will stand as a sigil for all of humanity to look up to and I am excited to see what innovative ideas this new team comes up with.”   

One of the members of the group David Kauffman spoke about the reasoning for his participation in the initiative. “The idea of joining a group of like-minded young professionals in the literal life-saving work of UH is an opportunity to partake in Tikkun Ha-Olam, repairing the world; a mission one can never start too young”

The 30 Under 30 cohort of 2018/19 includes: Jacob Avner Baruch,  Yaron Benchlouch, Josh & Ellie Blisko, Ayelet Cohen, Isaac Dweck, Dov Eckstein, Jasmine Einalhori, Ari Freedman, Sheldon Frenkel, Alex Goldberg, Dovid Guidry, Andre Hass, Samantha Hass, Zevy Hoffman, Leah Hoffman, AJ Jungreis, David Kaufman, Sharona Eisenreich Laster, DC Lowinger, Yaeli Lowinger, Ralph Mizrahi, Aliza Romanoff, Eli Romanoff, Rose Spiegel,  Avi Stern, Elizabeth Sutton, Joe Teplow, Amanda Uziel and Renee Willett.

For more information on the project please see: https://israelrescue.org/30under30.php

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“A Team of Angels”: Helping an Amputee Find a Reason to Live

Two weeks ago, United Hatzalah “Ten Kavod” volunteers from Kfar Saba set out on a mission to dramatically improve an elderly water sports enthusiast’s quality of life by helping him experience the sea in a way that he had not done since a life-changing double amputation.

Yehuda, a 72-year-old from Kfar Saba, became bedridden as the result of a life-altering medical procedure gone wrong. The procedure led to a serious infection, causing him to lose both of his legs and severely damaging his spine. United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod project brings Yehuda to visit the sea once a month and by doing so, has saved his life.

Yehuda and his wife Tova explained that his physical condition left him feeling hopeless to the point that he had made arrangements for voluntary euthanasia in Switzerland. “Two years ago, Yehuda underwent an operation due to a slipped disk. He was swimming and wasn’t able to swim more than 70 meters. He used to swim extensively. I knew something was wrong and brought him to a doctor,” explained Tova, a former emergency room chief nurse with five decades of experience.

“Yehuda received a series of epidural shots to deal with the pain. Soon afterward, he started to lose the ability to move his legs. We brought him to the E.R., and we found that an infection from the shots had destroyed the blood vessels in his legs and damaged his spine. Yehuda suffered severe sepsis and had to have both of his legs amputated. The infection changed our lives forever,” said Tova. “Neither of us were what people would call ‘old.’” We were both very active. Then he had all of that taken away from him.”

“I don’t have much to live for or even to look forward to anymore,” said Yehuda. “I was ready to end everything. My wife and I still love each other. We have been married for 48 years. But the inability to move on my own is simply too much to deal with. The fact that I can’t swim or enjoy the water is very difficult for me,” he explained. “The trips that United Hatzalah takes me on to see the sea are the only times that I have left to look forward to. I live in those moments when the volunteers come and take me to the sea. This past trip, when they organized for me to go on a yacht, was something that dreams are made of. I will remember it for the rest of my days,” Yehuda said.  

“There are no words for the good that United Hatzalah has done for us,” added Tova. “Yehuda’s mind is fine, but his body is not. The Ten Kavod project allows him to ‘escape’ from his body for a short time to remind himself of the beauty in the world and the reasons to keep on living.”

Yehuda is thankful for the volunteers’ efforts in organizing these monthly trips, which are always done with an ambulance and experienced medical staff on hand to handle the logistics of transporting him and ready to assist him if needed during the trip. “The United Hatzalah team here is a team of angels — every single one of them. Whenever they visit, it gives me the ability to keep going. It gives me something to look forward to.”

United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod program sends fully trained medical volunteers to visit elderly patients, many of whom live on their own. The volunteers provide them with free medical checkups and companionship. Sometimes, as in Yehuda’s case, the volunteers do even more, providing the extra level of care and compassion that patients like Yehuda need.  

Shmuel Agassi, an EMT and Ten Kavod volunteer from Kfar Saba, visits Yehuda and Tova weekly and was instrumental in making the trip a reality. Agassi, together with Nitzan Raich, chapter head of United Hatzalah in Kfar Saba, reached out to volunteers who used their contacts to find a yacht large enough for Yehuda and a captain willing to assist. It took only a few hours to find the right vessel and the right person: yacht captain and United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Tzvika Sperling, performed the necessary safety checks to ensure that Yehuda (and his bed), as well as his family, would be able to sail on his yacht safely.

“Our mission is to help the elderly in the city as much as possible with whatever they need,” said Raich. For some of our patients, we perform electrical repairs in their homes or do other odd jobs around the house – anything that they need help with. We have volunteers who are electricians and others who are handymen. They each lend their skills when needed. Some of our patients do not have much money, so we help them obtain basic groceries from volunteers who are food suppliers and store owners. Yehuda needs a different type of help.”

Raich said that in Yehuda’s case, the team is providing support to a hero who sometimes feels that he has lost his ability to be one and to do the things that brought him joy. “Yehuda is a person who has given a lot to society, to our community, to the country in his service in the IDF and to his family. He has been through it all and survived it all. He loves his country and has even given a lot to us, the volunteers who help him. [BB3] He really loved the water. Those joys have been taken away from him due to his condition. All of the volunteers here in Kfar Saba are on a mission to give those joys back to him and thus help him find the will to keep on going.”

“[Preparing for] the boat trip took more than two weeks of solid logistical work, but we made it happen for Yehuda,” Raich said. “He is a very special man, and everyone knows him and loves him, so all of our volunteers were happy to help.”.

The three-hour trip was chaperoned by a fully equipped ambulance team on the boat, plus another team at the dock that transported Yehuda from his home to the marina and back. The boat was outfitted with special equipment that so that Yehuda could enjoy the trip from the deck while safely secured in his bed. “The joy that showed on his face was something that I will never forget,” said Sperling.

 

At the end of the day, Yehuda said to the volunteers, “Today was a compensation.”

“Compensation for what?” they asked.

“Compensation for the tragedy that I suffered through. You volunteers and what you do for me are a shining light amid an otherwise dark existence. This boat ride for me was the greatest kindness that you could do. There are not enough words to thank you,” Yehuda added.

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London Community Comes Out To Support Israeli EMS Organization, Wowed by Eurovision Champion

Netta Barzilai headlined a gala evening in a prestigious London venue last night that aimed to raise funds for Israel’s largest fully-volunteer emergency medical services organization, United Hatzalah. The event took place at One Marylebone event hall and was a sold-out engagement with more than 500 people in attendance.

Netta Barzilai sings in front of a sold out crowd at United Hatzalah London Gala Event

The reigning Eurovision champion was preceded by Co-Hosts Sara Idan and Adar Gandelsman, Miss Iraq 2017 and Miss Israel 2017 respectively, who told the story of how they met and introduced a video of one the organization’s religious female first responders who drop whatever it is that they are doing and saves the lives of anyone who needs assistance in Israel, regardless of their race or religion.     

Sarah Idan, Aida Dellal and Adar Gandelsman speak in front of the sold out audience at the gala.

In addition to the stars of the evening, Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Mark Regev, spoke about the excellent work that United Hatzalah does across the country. Gala Chairman and Hotelier Ami Pomeranc spoke about his emotional connection to UH and how he’s been working to raise funds for the charity all over the world.

London philanthropist Aida Dellal was honored during the event and spoke about her family coming from Iraq to the UK and how that inspired her to support Miss Israel and Miss Iraq working together to save lives in Israel.

Philanthropist Michael Goodman from New York donated the first vehicle of the evening, followed by an anonymous donor who donated an ambulance. Pomeranc then appealed to the crowd for further donations and the evening culminated in numerous vehicles and sums being donated to the organization. The total amount raised over the course of the evening was closed to 500,000 pounds or approximately $700,000. South African Philanthropist Isy Danon got on stage and donated 100,000 pounds on behalf of the people of London.

 

“I believe in this cause wholeheartedly. Eli has built an organization of 5,000 volunteers that saves the lives of more than 30,000 people each year and that is something that is incredible to me. 30,000 people are now alive this year because of Eli Beer and United Hatzalah. These people are children, siblings, husbands, wives, parents, everyone from different races and religions. It doesn’t matter, because Eli just sees a heartbeat and he wants that heart to beat. It shows the power of what one person can achieve. So I encourage everyone to give from the heart, whatever you can give. This is a great organization and everything you give will ultimately save lives, and there is no greater gift than saving a life.”

Isy Danon together with Gandelsman and Idan

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli beer said: “This is our first ever Gala event in London and I was amazed by the amount of support that the UK community showed for our mission of saving lives in Israel. There was an incredible atmosphere of giving and support that we felt from all of the attendees and we expect that our target of £500k was not only reached but surpassed.”

 

Following the speeches, Netta got on stage and wowed the crowd with her music and then got everyone dancing when she sung her Eurovision winner ‘Toy’.

Eli Beer speaking in front of the crowd

Regional Director of British Friends of United Hatzalah and event organizer Royi Gutkin said following the event: “I’m delighted that we were able to bring a different style of event to the UK, unlocking a huge potential for United Hatzalah to grow and expand our support base here in our country. The people who came out to support the organization were given a chance to give back while having a terrific experience with Netta’s performance. The whole evening was a huge hit and it was immensely gratifying to have the support here of the community and receive such warm feedback from our first ever event.”

 

The organization’s next Gala event is slated to take place in Los Angeles, California sometime in the spring of 2019.

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United Hatzalah in Cooperation With the Ministry of Diaspora send Psychological First Response Team to Aid Pittsburgh

A team of volunteers from United Hatzalah of Israel, in cooperation with the Ministry of Diaspora and the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, is heading from Israel to aid the community and victims of the shooting attack that took place in a Synagogue yesterday.

The team is comprised of members of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit and will assist the families of those who were killed in the attack as well as the injured and the rest of the community by providing psychological and emotional stabilization and treatment to those who need it.

 

Director of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit Miriam Ballin, who is heading the team said: “We are heading to Pittsburgh in order to treat those who witnessed the attack and anyone else from the community feels the need for our assistance. We will be utilizing techniques and tools that we have developed here in Israel and have proven to be highly successful in assisting those who have suffered from similar incidents here. Additionally, we hope that our work will give the community a sense of solidarity on behalf of the people of Israel.We hope to help the congregations, schools, families and individuals affected by this tragedy. We aim to provide emotional and psychological stabilization for those suffering the after effects of this tragedy.”

 

As part of our international operations, United Hatzalah has been involved in disaster relief around the world since 2010. Our teams have provided medical aid in disaster areas in foreign countries that include Haiti, Nepal, the Ukraine, the United States, Jordan, and other countries.

 

With the introduction of our Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit in 2016, we began providing psychological and emotional stabilization and treatment domestically and abroad as well. Our teams were very active in both large hurricanes that struck the United States last year, (Harvey and Irma) and we are heading there once again to help the community of Pittsburgh weather this difficult episode. Our unit is comprised of professionals in their field and includes, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, and therapists.

 

The members making up United Hatzalah’s four-person team to Pittsburgh are, Ballin, Dr. of Psychology Einat Kauffman, Social Worker from Laniado Hospital Hadas Ruham, and Rabbi and Psychotherapist Avi Tenenbaum.  

 

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