Eli Beer has dedicated his entire life to saving lives. His motivation began when he was only six years-old after witnessing a terror bus bombing in his hometown of Jerusalem. At age 15, Eli joined a local volunteer ambulance unit as an EMT and after his ambulance failed to arrive in time to save a young boy because it was stuck in traffic, Eli realized there needed to be a faster way to reach patients. At 17, in order to achieve his goal of faster response times, Eli implemented the Hatzalah model used by Jewish communities in the United States. In this model, volunteer medics from the neighborhood respond to calls using personal communication gear, medical equipment and supplies. He started in his own community, and along with the innovation of the ambucycle -a motorcycle with fully equipped with emergency lifesaving gear, like an ambulance on two wheels - response times began to drop. Patients received treatment before the ambulances arrived, more and more lives were saved. Soon afterwards the model took off nationwide.
In 2006, Eli established United Hatzalah of Israel and chapters launched throughout the country bringing Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze together in order to save lives. United Hatzalah of Israel is now officially recognized by the State of Israel as a national emergency response organization. United Hatzalah coordinates the activities of more than 3,000 medics, paramedics and doctors across the country responding to more than 800 calls a day. Using innovative GPS and phone app technology, United Hatzalah’s volunteer pre-ambulance medics typically arrive on the scene in under three minutes.
Eli’s vision is to bring United Hatzalah’s lifesaving model beyond Israel to the global village. United Hatzalah branches have been successfully launched in Brazil, Panama and Lithuania and other countries around the world. In November of 2015 Eli launched the first United Rescue unit (based on the United Hatzalah model) in the United States. Today, Beer acts as the President of Friends of United Hatzalah and of United Rescue International and also runs Beer Real Estate holdings, his family business. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Gitty and their five children.
Prizes and acknowledgments
Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Israel (2010)
Beer received the Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in cooperation with the World Economic Forum of Davos in 2010. The award is given to those driving social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development.
Presidential Award for Volunteerism, Israel (2011)
Beer received the Presidential Award for Volunteerism from Shimon Peres, the President of the State of Israel in 2011. The award is given to individuals and groups whose volunteering effort is deemed to be outstanding in a given year by a committee. Twelve awardees are chosen each year.
Young Global Leader, Davos (2012)
Nominated by a committee chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan for his efforts to create a multicultural, apolitical medical rescue organization, Beer was chosen to become one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2012. Young Global Leaders come from 65 countries and are honored for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
The Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East (2013)
The Institute of International Education (IIE) awards the Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East annually to recognize outstanding work being conducted jointly by two individuals, one Arab and one Israeli, working together to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. Beer received the prize together with Murad Alian, the Coordinator of United Hatzalah's East Jerusalem Team.
Eli Beer was invited to be a speaker on April 2013 on TEDMED, an annual conference about health and medicine. His talk was later featured on the TED website.
In 2015 Eli Beer addressed 17,000 people at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C..