The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, arrived in the early hours of the morning on Thursday in Moldova, to pay a quick visit to United Hatzalah of Israel and see the organization’s humanitarian and medical aid for the refugees in Ukraine. Rabbi Lau came on a special flight arranged by United Hatzalah and at the personal invitation of Rabbi Pinchas Saltzman, the Chief Rabbi of Moldova.  

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Chief rabbi with UH volunteers in front of plane

The goal of the visit was to offer support and strengthen the work of United Hatzalah of Israel’s volunteers in support of Ukrainian refugees at the borders and in the capital city of Chisinau as well as support the local Jewish community. Chisinau’s Jewish community has become the central reunification center and first aid center for the Jewish refugees from Ukraine. In Chisinau, refugees can find accommodation, food, medical and consular assistance, provided by the community and United Hatzalah.


Rabbi Lau met with volunteers from Israel who have been stationed in Moldova for more than two weeks and have been providing round-the-clock aid to Ukrainian refugees, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. Rabbi Lau also visited locations in Chisinau that have been converted into refugee centers, such as synagogues, hotels, schools, and other locations. In addition, he toured the field hospital that United Hatzalah has set up in the city to treat refugees regardless of race or religion.  

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United Hatzalah’s Vice President of Operations said; “I was happy to accompany the Chief Rabbi who came to Moldova in order to strengthen the Jewish volunteers and communities in their humanitarian efforts. His visit gave great support to the activities of the volunteers who are working day and night to help the tens of thousands of refugees who fled Ukraine. ‘Operation Orange Wings’ continues and we will be having more rescue flights sponsored by United Hatzalah and its supporters departing from Moldova next week as well.”

(Photos – Credit: United Hatzalah)

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