Last Sunday evening at the Avenue Event Hall in Airport City, United Hatzalah held their second annual Israel gala dinner, which followed shortly upon the heels of the 1st annual gala dinner held in Miami, Florida, which took place last Tuesday. The organization raised close to $3,500,000 at each event bringing the total between the two to $7,000,000.
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer presided over both events and encouraged the crowds to help the organization in its life-saving mission. Beer told the story of how he began the organization as a young boy who saw a need for faster emergency medical care and developed it into the fastest emergency response organization in the world currently boasting active branches in five countries.
United Hatzalah’s Regional Development Director for Florida, Danielle David, who was one of the main organizers for the Miami Gala said: “The powerful bond between the volunteers and the people whose lives they save is one of the most touching human connections I have ever seen – the saved and the savior.” Her sentiment was resounded by the crowd of both galas who got to meet some of the rescuers who make up the organization and those who have benefitted from their services by being rescued.
At the Israel Gala event, a tearful family, Yaron, Limor and baby Lior Golan, were reunited with the six United Hatzalah volunteers who performed CPR on an unconscious Limor just 2 months prior. At the time, Limor was 39 weeks pregnant with Lior. During the dramatic rescue, not only did the volunteers manage to bring Limor’s pulse back, but they managed to save the baby as well. The volunteers, Aharon Avital, Tomer Tzenani, Yossi Cohen, Naftali Friedman, Adi Avivi and Lior Filshteiner, all had tears in their eyes as did the Golan family, as Yaron proudly expressed his thanks to the organization for saving the life of his wife and newborn son.
The Miami event was chaired by philanthropist Ami Pomeranc together with co-chair Nili Galbut. It honored the lifetime work of Cherna Moskowitz, Paul and Marian Kruss, Judy and Munroe Milstein, and young rescuer Joseph Levi who saved his baby brother’s life by catching him after he fell off the changing table at home. The entertainment for the evening was provided by Dudu Aharon, who volunteered his time, together with special guests Fauda actress Rona Lee Shimon and American comedians Renee Willet and Elon Gold. The event was attended by 850 people including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and his wife, David and Tammy Friedman, Israeli Consul General to Miami Ishmael Khaldi, and David “Papi” Einhorn as well as the resident host committee.
The Israeli event had 800 people in attendance including representatives from major corporations who came to support the lifesaving work of the organization. Among them was Mark Gerson of the Gerson Lehrman Group, Yair Hamburger who is the Chairman of Harel Insurance, Businessman Mati Kochavi, Head of Development of Ituran Gill Shratzky, Businesswoman Alona Barkat, Ruthi and Menachem Oren, Moti Ben Moshe, and Gabi and Yaron Carni.
Laura Schwartz who was the Chair of the Host Committee at the Miami Gala was awarded the Young Leadership Award at the Israeli Gala for her efforts.
“I am always astounded by the generosity of people who see the importance of the work that United Hatzalah does,” Eli Beer told the crowd at the second of the two galas. “When I began this journey I had no idea that it would become the largest fully-volunteer free emergency medical service in Israel with branches around the globe. It is because of the men and women who drop whatever they are doing to save lives, and likewise because of the people who come out to events like this to support them, that we are able to save as many people as we do. Anyone can become a volunteer, and anyone can help save lives by supporting their work. Our goal for the next year is to increase the number of volunteers from 6,000 to more than 7,500 volunteers so that we can achieve our goal of arriving in less than 90 seconds to any medical emergency in the country. The way we do that is by expanding the growing network of lifesaving volunteers, and for that, we need the generous support of people like you.”
United Hatzalah currently numbers more than 6,000 volunteer EMTs, paramedics, and doctors who are on call 24 hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, and 365 days-a-year. When an emergency occurs in their vicinity, they drop what they are doing and rush out to provide emergency medical treatment anywhere in Israel. The organization also has branches in Kiev, Uman, Jersey City N.J., Englewood N.J., and Panama City.