American Philanthropists Ron and June Daniels, and Joel and Adele Sandberg, who were active in freeing Russian refusniks like Edelstein, recently donated life-saving medical equipment to United Hatzalah in honor of Edelstein’s service as Health Minister of Israel.
In the middle of August, Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein became the first-ever sitting health minister to visit the headquarters of United Hatzalah of Israel in Jerusalem. The visit culminated with a United Hatzalah volunteer, Eli Almoznino, being presented with a medical bag in honor of Edelstein.
Almoznino is a unique volunteer EMT in that he not only heads United Hatzalah’s Missing Persons Urban Search and Rescue Unit, but he also suffers from a disability, having had his left leg amputated after he was involved in a motorcycle accident a number of years ago. Almoznino is a volunteer who knows how to face adversity, as does Edelstein, who while in the Soviet Union, was arrested by the KGB and sent to a labor camp in Siberia.
After the visit and the presentation Minister Edelstein spoke about the character of United Hatzalah volunteers like Almoznino. “It is terrific that we have such people to assist in saving lives. It is important to have a foundation of EMTs and paramedics such as those in United Hatzalah who are able to respond to all types of emergencies.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer spoke about the visit and the donation: “This is a historic day for United Hatzalah. The Health Minister arrived at our headquarters to learn first-hand about the activities of our 6,000 volunteer EMTs, paramedics, and doctors, who provide a fast and free emergency medical response to thousands of ill and injured people.
“I think it is incredible to see how things come full circle. Both the Daniels family and the Sandberg family were instrumental in the fight to free Soviet Jewry, and now we have a former Soviet Jew, one of the last Jews who was freed because of that fight, who is the Israeli Health Minister and responsible for all Health Matters in Israel. To have equipment donated in his honor by these families to a self-less hero like Eli Almoznino is something that touches my heart.”