New York – March 15th, 2016 –  As is widely known in the Jewish world in Israel, United Hatzalah is one of the fastest responding volunteer EMS organizations in the country and is responsible for saving lives on a daily basis. The organization holds itself to the highest standards of medical proficiency. Its network of over 3,000 dedicated volunteers arrive to the scene of an emergency in under 3 minutes, before ambulance teams, due to Hatzalah’s advanced technological app and fleet of ambucycles.

Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer (Left) with Jonathan Gellis at United Hatzalah Teaneck event.
Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer (Right) with Jonathan Gellis at United Hatzalah Teaneck event.

Now, as the message is being spread across the globe and sister organizations of United Hatzalah are opening in Panama, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, and other countries, one location has garnered the attention of EMS organizations worldwide: New Jersey.

Jersey City’s chapter of United Rescue – a sister organization of Israel’s United Hatzalah – has recently won the prestigious JEMS10 award for excellence in EMS innovation. Now, United Hatzalah staff have begun spreading the word to other locales in New Jersey in the hopes of raising awareness and money for the organization in order to save more lives.

The organization receives no funding from the government and is sustained completely by donations.

Jason Katz, the regional officer for United Hatzalah in New Jersey, spoke about a recent event that was held in the city of Teaneck to raise awareness for the life-saving organization.

“It meant so much to the organization that so many people in the area felt compelled to learn more about United Hatzalah and what is going on in Israel. Our volunteers are working tirelessly around the clock and risk their lives every day, so it is extremely important that people know of the incredible work that they do.”

The event in Teaneck was held at the home of Alisa and Jonathan Gellis and was aimed at raising awareness of the important work that the organization does. By arriving in under three minutes to the scene of an emergency, and often in under 90 seconds, United Hatzalah is able to provide urgently needed first aid treatment to injured persons who would otherwise be waiting for an extra eight to fifteen minutes for an ambulance to arrive. The trauma, and shock that an individual can suffer during those interim minutes can have devastating effects, and cause numerous medical problems resulting in an elongated period of rehabilitation, if not worse.

Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah, attended the event and spoke about the important work that the organization is doing. Additionally, he told stories about himself growing up and how he came to found the organization that is now recognized as one of the largest EMS providers in Israel. Beer himself is an EMS volunteer and has witnessed numerous attacks. He recognized that local volunteers will always be able to respond to emergencies faster than ambulances coming from afar. He knew that it was his mission to establish a national network of EMS volunteers that would be able to ease the suffering and save the lives of injured persons across Israel.

During the event, wine was provided by Josh Schupak, a local wine connoisseur, and the food was catered by the Teaneck Doghouse, a local, kosher sports restaurant that has received stunning reviews in various local press outlets and is owned by Gellis.

Gellis spoke about why he felt it was important to hold the event. “My wife and I truly believe in doing everything we can to help people in Israel, especially in troubling times like these. Especially for people who are suffering from terrorism or have had issues occur in their daily lives, we want to show that we are here to help.”

When asked why the couple specifically chose to help raise awareness via United Hatzalah, Gellis responded by saying, “We think the United Hatzalah organization is a fantastic organization, one that we hope that people never have to use. Unfortunately bad things happen to good people all the time. Having such a tangible way to help means a lot. To be able to see the money raised by donors go immediately towards saving lives and helping people is terrific.”

Gellis added that both he and his wife “couldn’t be prouder than to associate ourselves with such a wonderful organization.”