On Sunday night, 18 widows hailing from different regions of Israel graduated from the EMT course facilitated by United Hatzalah’s groundbreaking Weisz Family IMAH Initiative. IMAH, short for Inspiring Mothers at Hatzalah, is a program initiated by the organization to equip widows with essential skills in emergency medicine, providing them with new avenues for personal and professional growth while offering a support system and camaraderie

The comprehensive year-long EMT course, which was provided free of charge thanks to a partnership with the Weisz Family, delved into the intricacies of emergency medical care, encompassing intensive training in CPR, anamnesis, and physical trauma management. The commitment exhibited by the IMAH medic course graduates has culminated in them earning EMT certification, a credential recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Health. This certification allows them to work in health clinics and hospitals, as well as chaperone trips and outings for schools, day camps, and businesses, all diverse freelance and part-time employment opportunities that are suited to single mothers. Over half of the graduates have also expressed interest in volunteering as first responders with the EMS organization.

In 2023, as part of the IMAH Initiative, 30 widows also received certification as phlebotomists following a two-month-long course. This qualification enables them to proficiently draw blood from patients in different healthcare settings. In addition to the medical training, IMAH provides these women with job training, resume building, and interview preparation. The organization is also actively facilitating placement opportunities in medical facilities, with numerous participants already engaged in internships and interviews.

“The IMAH Initiative is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and providing widows with the skills and confidence to thrive in the field of emergency medicine,” said Karen Arieli, head of the IMAH initiative at United Hatzalah, a widow herself who also graduated both courses together with the other participants. “I know the importance of giving widows a respectable income opportunity as well as a sense of purpose. Despite the challenges, including the trauma sometimes triggered by different emergency medical procedures, due to their personal stories of having cared for their late husbands in the Emergency Room, Oncology, or Cardiology departments, or the struggles finding babysitters so that they can attend class or take their exam, they have succeeded. I am so proud of my fellow EMT heroines.”

After this inaugural all-widows course, the Weisz Family IMAH initiative will now offer any widow the possibility to join free-of-charge the standard EMT courses and Phlebotomy courses taught by United Hatzalah around the country. Widows who are interested in participating can reach out to Karen Arieli at [email protected].