On Sunday evening, representatives from the Jewish Federations of North America visited United Hatzalah’s logistics and equipment center, located in Har Tuv, and participated in a special ceremony dedicating 50 oxygen tanks and 20 defibrillators that were donated by the Federations to the lifesaving emergency organization.
“It’s all about the people. The only way to really understand Israel is to meet people like yourselves who are helping people every day,” said Neil Wallack, an officer of the Jewish Federations of North America and the secretary of the board of trustees. Wallack was one of six dignitaries from the Jewish Federations who was on hand for the dedication. “There is a tremendous amount of incredible people in Israel, like United Hatzalah volunteers, who are ordinary people doing amazing things, and that makes them incredible.”
Wallack spoke about why the Jewish Federations decided to donate specifically to United Hatzalah of Israel. “We’re here on behalf of many Jews from different Federations across the United States, and we recognize the struggle that it is to exist normally every day in Israel, and it is only possible because of efforts like these by United Hatzalah. That is why communities like Chicago, and South Palm Beach, New York, Los Angeles, and others, have invested nearly $3,000,000 in the efforts that you do. To come and see what these donations really mean and how they will save lives, is so heartwarming. The Federation system of the Jewish community in the Diaspora is all about thriving, secure, communities. We talk about that, we invest in that, and you are doing that and the word is spreading.”
Becky Caspi, the Senior Vice President of Global Operations and the Director-General of JFNA Israel, was also on hand for the tour of the logistics center and oversaw the dedication of the medical equipment.
Another dignitary who participated in the event, Maya Abarbanel, who serves as the program director of the Jewish Federation of Chicago’s Israel Office said that “We feel very connected and fortunate to take part in the lifesaving actions that United Hatzalah is doing.”
Maya added that the partnership between the Federations and United Hatzalah has been a long and important one. “Many years ago when United Hatzalah created their vision of having a 90-second response time to medical emergencies anywhere in the country, including the periphery, they reached out to the JUF and the Chicago Federation understood the need immediately. Through our partnership steering committee, we were able to give money to train 25 volunteers in our partnership region of Kiryat Gat. Those volunteers are still active today and the program has expanded to more than 100 volunteers in the area. Whenever we visit this area we see the volunteers in action saving lives with their vests and ambucycles, and it is very moving to see. We are proud to have been a vital part of their activities and help the people in the region.”
Vice President of Operations for United Hatzalah Dov Maisel said: “We are thankful to be partnering with the Jewish Federations of North America in our effort to save lives. We are also deeply grateful to the many individual Jewish Federations that are critical partners in our mission to provide the highest level of emergency medical care in the fastest time possible in their partnership regions across Israel. We are proud to be part of the Federation Family.”
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