The Jewish month of Adar is a joyful and auspicious time for the Jewish nation, and school children across Israel kick off the month by dressing up in costume and participating in festive celebrations. Last week, just after the month of Adar began, volunteers from United Hatzalah of Israel’s women’s unit helped Aleh students in Jerusalem start the month off right by dressing up. Some of the oldest residents at ALEH’s residential and rehabilitative center in Jerusalem, young adults with severe complex disabilities expressed a desire to dress up as first responders, and the volunteers from the women’s unit came and worked with them to create costumes and colorful masks to wear on Purim.
The event took shape when Gitty Beer, the Director of United Hatzalah’s women’s unit and wife of President and Founder Eli Beer, received a unique phone call. It was a request from colleague Micki Cohen asking whether or not the women’s unit would be able to help spread some festive cheer to children living with disabilities at the Aleh center in Jerusalem. Gitty and the team rose to the challenge. When they heard that the young girls at Aleh wanted to dress up as United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs, Gitty and crew brought vests, stickers, and activities all related to the organization to share with the children and create a special festive day of dress-up, art activities and demonstrating a little bit of what life is like for a volunteer EMT.
While the volunteers gave equal time to everyone, they set aside some special time to speak to the young women about how women are the strength of their first responder unit – just like Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story.
The Aleh organization was so pleased with the event that they thanked the United Hatzalah team profusely on social media. “This week, our Aleh students in Jerusalem merited a special visit from the Women’s Unit of United Hatzalah. Unfortunately, the children are used to seeing these volunteers rushing in whenever there is a medical emergency, but this visit is one that the children were very excited about. Putting on the vests themselves and having EMTs come and teach them about what they do, caused the children to have tremendous joy which spilled over to infect everyone who participated. The volunteers stayed and danced with the children, helped them design their masks and even helped with face paint. May we always meet with United Hatzalah volunteers for such joyous occasions… Thank you so much for a wonderful day and for setting an empowering example for our young women, United Hatzalah!”