Building Bridges In Beit Shemesh and Beyond

 Beit Shemesh Mayor, Dr. Aliza Bloch, visited the headquarters of United Hatzalah on Monday, and thanked the organization for their assistance in transporting the elderly, disabled, and those stuck at home, to vaccination centers in the city. During the exclusive tour of the organization’s headquarters, which included an in-depth tour of the organization’s national dispatch center, staff members and volunteers showed the mayor how the vaccination transport system is working in Beit Shemesh as well as 20 other municipalities around the country.

Dr. Bloch learning how the UH Dispatching Center works

Deputy Mayor Yisrael Silverstein, who holds the Health and early childhood education portfolios of the city, accompanied the mayor. Two weeks ago, Beit Shemesh joined another 20 cities across Israel in partnering with United Hatzalah to transport elderly, disabled, and shut-in people, to and from vaccination centers in their cities. This allows these people, who would otherwise be unable to arrive at the centers, to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. 

Chen Danzinger was also on hand to greet the mayor and thank the volunteers who saved her life. Chen is a teacher in Beit Shemesh and suffered a cardiac arrest while in school last year.  Chen was resuscitated by volunteers from the organization who performed a successful CPR and saved her life. Yechiel Rosenberg who was one of the volunteers to perform CPR on Chen came as a surprise and met Chen and Dr. Bloch. Chen told the Mayor that “without Yechiel and the other responders who saved my life, I wouldn’t be here today.”

(For right to left) Beit Shemesh Chapter Head Dovid Leff, Yechiel Rosenberg, Chen Ganzinger and Deputy Chapter Head Tzvika Rubin

Mayor Bloch summed up the visit and said: “We are in the middle of a battle against a virus that has altered the regular ways of doing things in this world, and that is in addition to the regular everyday challenges that we face. The work of United Hatzalah in general, and its volunteers in Beit Shemesh in specific, is very moving to me. United Hatzalah volunteers know how to take on responsibility. They take responsibility for the city, for building bridges between communities, and most importantly, for the message that the key to building unity comes from the people, from the ground up. When a volunteer of United Hatzalah responds to an emergency they don’t know who they will be helping. This is the way to build bridges, and United Hatzalah knows how to both rescue people, and how to build bridges.”

Vice President of United Hatzalah Dov Maisel said at the end of the visit: “I want to thank Mayor Bloch for her cooperation with us. The transporting of the elderly to receive their vaccinations is resulting in lives being saved. I also want to thank her for her kind words. Encouragement from the Mayor gives our volunteers the drive they need to continue to respond to emergencies at any time of day or night.”

Mayor Dr. Bloch together with United Hatzalah staff in their headquarters

Beit Shemesh Chapter Head of United Hatzalah Dovid Leff added: “We see the partnership between the organization and the municipality of Beit Shemesh as being a natural partnership, one whose goal is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the residents of our city.”

 

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