As we get closer to the beginning of the holiday season, United Hatzalah is gearing up for their annual concert that will take place on Chol Hamoed Sukkot in Binyanei Ha’Umah. As opposed to previous years, this year the organization is shifting the usual focus of the event to highlight the contribution that family provides in saving lives.
Over the past year, the organization has put a strong emphasis on lifesaving that takes place at home by training thousands of individuals across the country in basic first aid. The project which is aptly called “Family First” encourages, parents, older siblings, teachers and community workers to take a 4 hour basic first aid course so that they will know the proper first response in cases of choking, heart failure, burns and a variety of other emergency situations that require immediate treatment such as CPR.
The organization also recently touted the many married couples who make lifesaving a priority in their homes with both spouses volunteering as first responders. Eliana Ben-David is a volunteer EMT together with her husband Avner. In a recent article, she explained how much she learned about herself after she became an EMT and how some rules from the field can be applied to building a proper family. “You do your best to help where you can but you can’t always save everyone. You learn so much from the experience of going on calls, about yourself and how to help your partner on scene. When applying that to family life it teaches you how to work in high-intensity moments while keeping your relationship positive. You should always be there to not only solve the problem but help your spouse or family member as well.”
The President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer spoke about the concert’s theme and how important the concept of family is to United Hatzalah. “Family is one of the main reasons why our volunteers do what they do. They go out to save people, to save families. But at the same time, they instill a series of values in their own families. Values about the importance of helping others, about putting the needs of others before your own, of the importance of a life, and about self-sacrifice. None of our volunteers get paid or reimbursed for their time. They often give up their own special quality family time in order to help other families remain intact. What’s extra special about our volunteers here at United Hatzalah, is that they, in essence, have become their own family. Each branch, each chapter, has become a family, and the entire organization has become one big family. I like to think of all the volunteers as many extended family and I know that I am not alone in thinking so.”
Beer’s family certainly feels the same, as his wife Gitty not only finished an EMT training course of her own in the past year but ushered in a new era for the organization by creating a specialized women’s unit that caters to the Haredi community and dispatches female responder to help assist other women specifically with women’s health issues.
The annual Sukkot concert this year is reflecting this sentiment. “We are inviting families from all over to come and attend,” said Eli. “We are even giving a family discount if people purchase tickets before September 1st. It will really be a family affair,” he added.
The concert will take place on Monday, October 9th at 19:30, at the Jerusalem Convention Center. In an appropriate nod to the theme of the evening, some of the artists themselves are family members. The concert headliner will be, the fan favorite, Avraham Fried who is a supporter and friend of the organization. Performing with him will be Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus from “8th Day”, Eli Marcus, Simche Friedman, and recently risen Chassidic star singer Benny Friedman. United Hatzalah volunteers will also be on hand during the evening to speak with audience members and share stories.
“The holidays are the time to spend with family. So, in support of all the families we save, bring your family out to meet ours on Sukkot, and I promise you that you will not be disappointed,” Beer encouraged.
For more information about the concert please click here: https://israelrescue.org/campaigns/sukkotconcert