web analytics
September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nepal’

Hundreds Celebrate Passover with Chabad in Kathmandu, Nepal

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Hundreds of Jews gathered this weekend to celebrate their exodus from Egyptian slavery at the annual seder in the highest point on earth – the Himalayas.

The media was left clueless as to where the famous Kathmandu Chabad House of Nepal seder was being held, however, due to the tight security surrounding the event this year.

Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz, co-directors of Chabad of Nepal, announced they would not release information about the location of the festive meal until 24 hours ahead of the event. “But don’t worry, the Israeli grapevine is alive and active,” people were told. “Folks will know where to go and how to get there.”

And so they did, indeed. A gym “who knows where” was packed to the rafters with at least 200 Israeli and other celebrants, right on schedule, for the start of the Passover seder.

The couple have spent the past 20 years orchestrating the most famous seder in the world.

This year numerous roads were reduced to rubble due to last year’s deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks, a massive avalanche, and subsequent blizzards. Thousands of locals were left homeless.

But the couple has a finely developed resourcefulness and creativity – for months they’d been making Passover wine in preparation for the holiday – and organizing strategies for transport of supplies.

Each year, the challenge of bringing needed supplies for the Passover holiday has required a different strategy. From using horses to a helicopter, with the help of the Israeli and Nepalese governments, the couple has always found a way to bring the goods to the Chabad House nestled high in the Himalayas.

Israeli hikers trekking through the area on their ritual post-army exploration of the world mark the event as a seminal stop on their journey to global maturity.

Hana Levi Julian

Chabad Prepares for Nepal’s New Nightmare – Monsoon Season

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Volunteers at Chabad of Nepal are working nearly around the clock as the dark clouds of the approaching monsoon season gather in the skies above Nepal.

Co-directors Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz and his wife Chani are working together with the volunteers to supply thousands of Nepalese with sturdy tents to shelter them from the coming storm.

“Just thinking of what the impending rains will do to those living in makeshift tents makes your heart tremble,” Chani Lifshiftz told Chabad.org on Sunday.

To make their lives easier, she and the volunteers, including many Israelis, are distributing water, food, medicine, warm clothing and waterproof tents throughout the area around the Chabad House in Kathmandu.

Monsoon season, which begins in June and runs through September, is likely to make life even worse for victims of last month’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

As for those who did not survive the earthquake, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz and British volunteer Yehuda Rose are still working with foreign embassies and families of the missing to identify and honorably transport home those who are Jews.

Last Wednesday German rescue teams and diplomats helped recover and return the remains of two Jewish German nationals to ensure a proper burial.

But as many as 170 Western citizens – among them a number of Jews – are still missing.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ilan Shohat traveled to Nepal from the Israeli city of Tzefat (Safed) on a fact-finding mission. Shohat spent time at the Kathmandu Chabad House and participated in a Lag B’Omer celebration. He also saw first-hand the growing need for humanitarian aid.

For those readers who wish to help with the earthquake relief effort, Chabad of Nepal has opened a special fund for the purchase of tents and other desperately needed supplies. Click here.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Issues Travel Warning for Nepal

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Nepal on Tuesday, reminding citizens the country still faces hardships and disease due to recent earthquakes and an avalanche on Mount Everest.

The death toll is still rising in the devastated nation high above in the Himalayas, with more than 7,200 dead and more than 14,000 injured found.

United Nations estimates place the damage and/or destruction of homes at more than half a million, and up to 600,000. Of the country’s 28 million citizens, at least 2 million are completely homeless and in need of tents and basic survival supplies. Up to 8 million are affected and many of those displaced.

The biggest fear now is, how to prevent disease from taking over next.

Despite assistance from the international community – with Israel providing one-third of the total human resource aid – Nepalese are struggling for survival. There are areas with contaminated drinking water, remote villages without food, shortages of medicine and medical aid. Aftershocks are continuing, some stronger than others.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry advises that under such circumstances, it is not wise to travel to Nepal at this time. Those already in the country should take these conditions into consideration before deciding to extend their stay – including those who independently decided to remain as volunteers in rescue efforts.

In the last few days that search and rescue teams were tracking down stranded Israelis, there were reports of attacks against the young foreign trekkers by Nepalese as conditions became more desperate and food, water and other survival necessities were needed.

Hana Levi Julian

Body of Missing Israeli Hiker, Or Ashraf, Found in Nepal

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

The body of missing Israeli hiker 22-year-old Or Ashraf has been found in a “complicated” area on Mount Everest.

Search and rescue workers have been looking for the IDF veteran for more than a week. His friends lost contact after the deadliest earthquake in more than 80 years struck Nepal nine days ago.

Ashraf was last seen alive just before setting out alone on a trail in Langtang, about an hour before the earthquake hit.

His father arrived in the area with some of the veteran’s buddies from the elite IDF Egoz combat unit to help search for him. Some of his belongings were found earlier in the day on Sunday, shortly before rescue workers located the body.

Due to its location, they said it is likely they will retrieve it tomorrow (Monday).

Ashraf’s father had vowed over the weekend that he would not leave Nepal without first locating his son. Israel’s foreign ministry, search and rescue teams and other officials have been using the Kathmandu Chabad House as a base of operations.

The Jewish center operated by Chabad-Lubavitch co-emissaries Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz and his wife Chani has been transformed into a crisis center where some 2,000 meals a day are being served to Nepalese refugees and stranded Israelis as they are being rescued by helicopter teams around the area.

It is at the Kathmandu Chabad House, with its high-tech equipment, that arrangements will likely be made for the retrieval of Ashraf’s body and its return to Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Breaking News; Searchers in Nepal Find Documents of Missing Israeli

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Israeli search teams have found documents connected to Israeli Or Asraf who has been missing in Nepal since last week’s disastrous earthquake, several Twitter accounts have reported.

The death toll from the quake has risen to 6,841, and Nepalese officials said there is virtually no chance of finding anyone alive.

Asraf’s relatives have flown to Nepal to join the search for the 2-year-old, and his father declared, “I am not going anywhere until I find him.”

A guide from a Nepalese tour operator is helping the Asraf family to try to find Or, who was traveling alone and was last seen about an hour before the earthquake struck.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Father, IDF Buddies Search in Nepal for Missing Israeli

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The father of a young Israeli backpacker has flown to Nepal to search the shattered nation for his missing son, Or Ashraf.

The 22-year-old hiker was last seen in Langtang a week ago just prior to setting out to hike a trail on Mount Everest, hours before the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck.

Israel Ambassador to Nepal, Yaron Meir, told IDF Army Radio on Thursday there is no concrete information about the whereabouts of Or Ashraf. “There is some room for concern,” Meir said.

The trekker last told a friend last Thursday that he might attempt to hike one of the trails alone.

The elder Ashraf brought along some of his son’s IDF colleagues from the Egoz combat unit. Ashraf is the sole Israeli who has not made contact after the quake hit the area.

On Thursday, search and rescue teams planned to attempt a helicopter rescue of 20 Israelis located on a remote mountainside in the Himalayas, officials said.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, co-director of Chabad of Nepal with his wife, Chani, personally joined a helicopter mission to pick up stranded Israeli trekkers. Hours later, 25 were airlifted to Kathmandu; another 20-25 were still waiting for another airlift.

Bad weather has played a role in delaying helicopter rescues in the mountains. One rescue mission intended to deliver food and a satellite phone to stranded Israelis by motorcycle failed after 10 hours due to blocked roads.

While trekkers wait, cold and hungry, others continue to arrive with homeless villagers at the Chabad House in Kathmandu. Volunteers led by Chani Lifshitz are serving up to 2,000 meals a day to Nepalese. The Lifshitz children, meanwhile, are being hosted at the home of Israel President Reuven Rivlin.

Chabad of Nepal has stayed in touch with some 50 Israelis who have been stuck in remote villages with no food, electricity or water with satellite phones. Israelis are stranded in mountain regions like Dhunche and Syrabrubesi; but they’ve been in touch with Lifshitz thanks to the satellite phones they took with them. They were provided by the Chabad House and donated by the family of Nadav Shoham, an Israeli hiker killed last year in a massive, freak blizzard.

More than 5,500 people are known to have died in the earthquake and the devastating 6.7-magnitude aftershock hours later. More than 100 aftershocks followed, and others have continued to rock the region. The quakes affected areas and killed people in areas as far away as Tibet, India and Pakistan.

Even as life ends for so many, a new baby boy weighing 2.1 kilograms came into the world, according to Major (res.) Michal Peres, a midwife and member of the Israeli delegation at the IDF Field Hospital set up in Nepal. The mother was being treated at a local hospital damaged in the quake, but went into labor and required a Caesarean section due to the size of the baby and the physical circumstances of the mother, IDF Major Gil Dar, an obstetrician/gynecologist confirmed. “The feeling is a good one,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Search and Rescue Underway in Nepal

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 20-person delegation comprised of volunteers from Israel’s leading rescue organizations already has set up a field hospital and begun reaching out to earthquake victims in Nepal. Coordinated by IsraeLife and including representatives from United Hatzalah, Zaka and F.I.R.S.T., the rescue mission arrived on Monday and split up into two camps – one stationed in Kathmandu and the other in smaller villages in the periphery.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Dov Maisel, a member of the joint delegation and United Hatzalah volunteer, explains conditions on the field:

“Many communities have been utterly destroyed… their hospital or medical center is gone – they have nothing.”

So far, the Israeli rescue team is treating injuries, pulling people out of rubble, rescuing victims from remote locations and consoling those facing grave tragedy.

“It is very difficult. After this kind of incident you have many wounded people who have nowhere to go – and they have fractures, an infected cut – all sorts of wounds… and they have no one treating them. Our mission is to help as many people as possible,” he said.

Working with Nepalese authorities: Members of the IsraeLife delegation join in rescue efforts with Nepalese authorities.

Working with Nepalese authorities: Members of the IsraeLife delegation join in rescue efforts with Nepalese authorities.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Eli Pollak, CEO of IsraeLife, said, “We decided to enlist the cooperation of the prominent Israeli emergency agencies in order to maximize the capabilities of the delegation, which is made up of experts in serving the needs of the disaster area. We are preparing for a long stay that will provide solutions to the Israelis living in Nepal and local residents.”

Dov Maisel of United Hatzalah gives vaccine to Nepalese boy at the IsraeLife field hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Dov Maisel of United Hatzalah gives vaccine to Nepalese boy at the IsraeLife field hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-search-and-rescue-underway-in-nepal/2015/04/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: