In a moving ceremony in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning, a commemorative plaque was unveiled and a new emergency medical service vehicle was dedicated in memory of Eliyahu (Eli) Dovid Kay, who was killed exactly one year ago in a terror attack while walking in the Old City on his way to the Western Wall. The vehicle, an “ambucycle”, will be used to provide emergency medical response in Jerusalem.

Eli made aliyah from South Africa on his own and studied Torah for two years in Yeshivat Tomchei Temimin in Kiryat Gat. He later enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a Paratrooper. After his release from the army, he was active in the HaShomer HaChadash organization, and in the three months that preceded his murder, he worked as a guide at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. He was murdered by a Palestinian gunman while on the way to work on the 17th of Kislev 5782, 21st of November 2021.

During the ceremony, the ambucycle, which had been donated to United Hatzalah by an anonymous resident of the old city, was dedicated in Eli’s memory. The volunteer EMT who was the recipient of the vehicle, Yoni Ben Shimol, was the first to arrive at the scene of the terror attack where Eli was killed. Despite Ben Shimol’s efforts, Eli passed away shortly after due to the severity of the injuries he suffered.

Attendees at the ceremony included Eli’s family and friends as well as various VIPs such as Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Leon, the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, and the CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollak.

Leon unveiled the plaque at the precise location of the murder and spoke about the tragedy of losing an idealistic young man such as Eli: “He was a young and determined man who loved the land of Israel, who enlisted into a combat unit, and saw his service as sacred work that he performed with dedication and loyalty to his people and country. It is sad and unfortunate that he was taken from us only because he was Jewish and Zionist and chose to make aliyah to Israel.”

United Hatzalah CEO Eli Pollak unveiled the ambucycle together with volunteer EMT Yoni Ben Shimol and Eli’s family and spoke about the meaning of the dedication: “In Jerusalem, over 800 United Hatzalah volunteers from all walks of life respond to medical emergencies around the clock, including to the horrific terror attack that took place a year ago in which Eli was tragically killed. We believe that an ambucycle that will be used to save lives, is the most fitting way to perpetuate Eli’s legacy. The ambucycle was given to our dear volunteer and resident of the Old City Yoni Ben Shimol, who was the first to respond to the terror attack a year ago and will continue saving lives in Eli’s memory.”

Eli’s brother Katriel spoke about the family’s emotion upon hearing of the donation of the ambucycle: “We’re really touched. It’s very important for us as a family to memorialize Eli and make sure that his memory is present at all times and in different places. We can’t think of anything that could be more befitting than an ambucycle, which is mobile and is going to be having an impact on people’s lives and saving lives.”

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