A new partnership is in the works to bring together two great organizations, B’nai B’rith Israel and United Hatzalah. The partnership, which is in its fledgling infancy, was initiated by Stella Kent, who belongs to the Lions of Judah organization as well as the  Joseph Niego Lodge of B’nai B’rith Israel. Kent was first officially introduced to United Hatzalah via the Lions of Judah, however she was very familiar with the work of the national volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization, having seen them in action numerous times in her neighborhood.

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Dovi Maisel is accompanied by other staff members of United Hatzalah in presenting at the B’nai B’rith Jospeh Niego lodge

The Joseph Niego B’nai B’rith Lodge is a chapter of B’nai B’rith which focuses on Turkish heritage. Named after one of the leading figures in the creation of the state of Israel and a founding pioneer of Israel’s agricultural system, the lodge which is social in nature supports many good works across Israel including the Mikveh Israel agricultural school, which Niego founded. Niego was instrumental in importing the Eucalyptus trees to Israel which dried the swamps that prevented agricultural development, thus allowing Israeli agriculture to grow and prosper. The lodge boasts being one of the biggest B’nai B’rith lodges in Israel.

“What we do here in B’nai B’rith in Israel is a bit different from what happens in B’nai B’rith abroad. Whereas lodge activities abroad revolve around political activism and are Israel oriented, here in Israel we provide our communities with more social and educational functions,” said Kent. “The money that we raise from the social functions we give to scholarships for university students that are offered to young people in Israel who have a connection with Turkey, but we also donate to organizations that help the community.”

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Members of United Hatzalah present a resuscitation course to B’nai B’rith lodge members

Kent, who acts as the Head of the Women’s Division of Joseph Niego lodge, was recently  impressed with United Hatzalah’s representatives and the organization’s life-saving model when they gave a talk to the group a few weeks ago. She thereupon decided to bring the organization to speak to her B’nai B’rith lodge as well.

“We often work in partnership with other organizations and lectures on a variety of topics, and I was impressed with United Hatzalah,” Kent explained.

“I was surprised to learn that my friends didn’t know about the wonderful life-saving work that the organization does. Now that they saw the presentation, the members here are very excited about that work and wish to support it wholeheartedly.”

Kent says that plans have been put in place for the lodge to make its first donation towards United Hatzalah. “We have begun to discuss a fundraising event for United Hatzalah, which will take place on the 26th of September. We hope to raise money for the organization to purchase life-saving medical kits so that their volunteers can have the gear that they need to save lives more efficiently.”

During the United Hatzalah presentation for the lodge, volunteer paramedic Niv Granot demonstrated how to perform CPR on a medical mannequin. “The demonstration was a highlight of the visit, and the women who attended were so interested that we are hoping to do a full CPR and Safe – Home course for the members of our lodge in the near future.”

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“The whole lodge is very impressed with the speed and efficiency of the volunteers who continually go out of their way to rescue others. As an individual it is very refreshing to know that someone will come to help as soon as possible to rescue a person in a time of need. There is a sense of security in Israel that if a person is really in need or in trouble, that there are people all over who will come to help. This is a feeling that is not always present outside of Israel, and this is an important feeling. The more people see it here in Israel the more that message will be taken abroad and the more lives will be saved around the globe. We look forward to being a small part of that,” she concluded.

“We save lives by engaging the power of the community,” said Eli Beer, the Founder of United Hatzalah. “It is fitting to have an organization as prestigious as B’nai B’rith, the oldest worldwide Jewish community service organization, recognize the impact that we have made. We are looking forward to working with B’nai B’rith as well as inviting other organizations to join us in helping to save lives in Israel. United, we can make a difference in every community throughout the country.”