Photo Credit: Courtesy
Logo of the new emergency medical organization, Ezras Nashim, in New York.

Sometimes, a woman just feels more comfortable if she is surrounded by women at certain vulnerable times. Even if her husband is with her.

Now for the first time ever, a new emergency medical service for women only, by women only, has begun ambulance service in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

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The neighborhood is home to a high concentration of Chassidic Jewish families, where most women do not feel comfortable being treated by men in the ambulances, even Jewish ones.

And up to now, the Jewish Hatzoloh emergency medical service has refused to allow women to serve on its crews, even under really awkward circumstances when pregnant women are in labor or actually about to give birth. Many women have complained about that situation for years. Qualified Jewish religious female emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have offered to work on Hatzoloh ambulances as well, but all have been turned away.

Finally, someone has done something about it.

“It was a real challenge to establish this organization, said founder Rachel Freier. “But all the volunteers underwent extensive training and we are on our way. The women are being treated by women, so they feel more comfortable.”

So far, the organization is operating with 40 volunteers who are fully trained. Due to lack of financial resources, however, the group does not yet have its own ambulance, so they have reached an agreement with a private ambulance company.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This is beyond ridiculous. Both men and women are getting shortchanged. Hatzoloh should have women as well as men working as EMTs.
    If I need emergency medical help and only the "Ezras Nashim" group is nearby, will I be left to languish and die. In a situation of pikuach nefesh I fail to see the halachic legitimacy of the desire for sex discrimination. It is not lauditory. It is more like something that Islamists might do.

  2. Ambulances for women, Estra rishona only for women and we are of course – exactly what the Torah prescribes. Doctors for women only women doctors, of course) and if the expert is a males, oy vey! Isn't that a bit of the absurd? Men doctors have to learn female anatomy and female doctors have to learn male anatomy but the "sechel" the logic of separation women from men…. how about men becoming pregnant with every second child. How about oh this too stupid for words; Oh better yet, how about the men going through difficult menstrual periods. This is apartheid to the max.

  3. This is absolutely insane. The frum world gets crazier by the day. An ambulance has to be able to service an emergency when needed for whomever needs when it is the closest option. Hatzolah for instance will tend to the emergency needs of non-Jews when necessary even though they are an haredi organization. They also tend service women even though other wise they are observant of Orthodox "shomer negia" concerns. Hopefully these nuts don't get licenced. I sure their discriminatory policies are illegal. These looney women will surely soon take to wearing burkhas.

  4. Waste of valuable ambulance and medical resources when it comes to emergencies. Under Jewish law there is no problem with men or women treating each other if the condition is life threatening! In fact it is a sin to divert needed medical staff because one "feels" more comfortable with being treated by their own gender.

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