In a twist on tradition, a 13-year-old boy has decided to donate all of the presents from his Bar Mitzvah in an effort to share in the dream of his namesake. Srulie Beer, the son of United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer, is endeavoring to purchase both a much-needed ambulance for United Hatzalah and a Torah scroll in honor of his namesake Dr. David Yaakov Applebaum who was murdered in a terror attack on September 9th, 2003.

The attack that claimed his life also killed his daughter Naava on the night before her wedding while the two were out celebrating and spending time together ahead of the upcoming nuptials. Eli was one of the emergency medical personnel who responded to the attack, and he went directly from the attack to the hospital where his wife had just gone into labor with Srulie, which is short for Yisrael David.

“My son and I have always talked about how he was named after a truly righteous man, and now here he is giving away all of his Bar Mitzvah presents in order to share in the same dream that Dr. Applebaum had, to save lives.”   

Srulie Beer with his Father Eli putting on Tefillin for the first time
Srulie Beer with his Father Eli putting on Tefillin for the first time

The ambulance is part of a new drive on behalf of United Hatzalah to purchase five more ambulances to better serve the people of Israel. “It is my dream to purchase an ambulance for United Hatzalah in order to help save lives,” said Srulie, whose Bar Mitzvah celebration is just under one month away. He has asked his friends, family, and the public, to donate money to help purchase the ambulance instead of purchasing presents for him. “That way, we can all help save lives together,” Srulie added.

The campaign, which is being run as part of United Hatzalah’s My Mitzvah campaigns, is the latest Bar Mitzvah donation from like-minded teens who are interested in giving back to the community and have donated part of their gift money to purchase medical equipment such as EMT and paramedic bags, ambucycles and adopting volunteer medics. If successful, this campaign will be the first of its kind to donate a fully equipped ambulance from a Bar Mitzvah celebration.

In a heartfelt letter that Srulie published, he wrote the following:

“Dear family and friends,

As an only son with four of the most amazing sisters, Avigail, Penina, Libi and Adina, our family is especially excited about my upcoming Bar Mitzvah.

I was born three days after a terrible tragedy that happened to a close friend of my father, Dr. David Yaakov Appelbaum ob”m. Dr. Appelbaum was murdered in a Jerusalem cafe with his righteous daughter, Naava, the night before her wedding. My parents decided to name me after Dr. Appelbaum and I am the first of many who bear his name. I learned a lot about the work of this remarkable man who devoted his entire life to the People of Israel and the Torah of Israel; therefore, when I see my father’s tireless efforts to saving lives, and his organization – “United Hatzalah” – which saved hundreds of thousands of people, I want to help him.

I decided to give up all my Bar Mitzvah gifts (except for a PlayStation 4), and devote them to fulfill my dream: to dedicate an emergency ambulance and a Sefer Torah in memory of Dr. David Applebaum, and my two grandfathers who I miss so much, Zaidy Beer and Zaidy Heftler ob”m.

Please help me fulfill my dream by contributing towards these two most special causes.

Thank you,

Srulie Beer”

Anyone who would like to help Srulie fulfil his dream and be a part of this mitzvah please click here: