web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘ZAKA’

Amid Crisis, Ukrainian Jewish Community Receives Rescue Efforts Training

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine – The current political crisis in Ukraine has propelled its Jewish community to request emergency training from Israeli emergency response organizations, United Hatzalah and ZAKA.

As the Ukrainian crisis developed during the past three months of anti-government protests, Ukrainian rabbis appealed for help in emergency response training. Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, the Ukrainian Chief Rabbi, and Rabbi Hillel Cohen of the Ukrainian Hatzalah made the request to ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav and United Hatzalah President Eli Beer. The men mobilized their organizations to work together to train the local team in only a matter of days.

United Hatzalah and ZAKA, in cooperation with the Isralife Foundation have worked together to train Jewish volunteers of the local Kiev Hatzalah. The Ukrainian participants received training in the latest emergency, rescue and search techniques in order to respond and provide aid to mass casualty emergencies should the crisis in the country escalate. The Ukrainian participants have also been trained to provide first aid in mass casualty emergency situations, and include protocols for CPR, treating suffocation, injuries and diseases.

Ukraine Training 2 “We were pleased to come to the assistance of the Ukrainian community during their time of need and provide the emergency training their volunteers need to handle local emergencies in an efficient and timely manner,” said Beer. “Both ZAKA and United Hatzalah each offered unique services and perspectives on emergency response and we were happy we could work together to help our fellow Jews.” “We are grateful to both organizations for responding so quickly and generously to help our community in this time of need. The events surrounding us require our community to be prepared with the latest training and techniques so we can respond to emergencies and help our people quickly in these dangerous times,” said Rabbis Azman and Cohen in a joint statement. In the Ukraine, much of the Jewish population is located in the country’s capital, Kiev while other sizable communities reside in Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa. Since the early 1990s, 340,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

In related news, a Ukrainian man was treated in Israel yesterday, Wednesday, March 5, after suffering severed damage to his left forearm from shrapnel in Kiev’s Independence Square during riots. Referred to as Alexander S., he was the first Ukrainian to arrive to Israel for treatment, following approval by Dr. Valeria Bivitzchik from Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, who recently volunteered with the Ukrainian Red Cross and arranged for injured citizens to be flown to Israel for medical treatment. Alexander was brought to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot where he will undergo surgery to reconstruct the bones and repair the soft issue in his arm under the care of hospital’s surgical and orthopedic departments in the coming days.

Rabbi in Critical Condition in Israel after Attack in Russia

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Chabad emissary Rabbi Ovadia Isakov is in critical condition in Rabin Medical Center in Israel, where he was flown on a private emergency flight after being shot in the chest by one or more unidentified assailant around 1 a.m. Thursday.

He is in serious to critical in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, formerly known as Bellinson Hospital and located in Petach Tikvah, adjacent to Tel Aviv.

Russian Jews financed the flight, reportedly on an Israeli Air Force plane, after doctors in Russia determined he was able to be flown to Israel. He was accompanied by a three-man medical team, consisting of a surgeon, paramedic and critical care physician, Chabad reported.

Rabbi Isakov was seriously wounded when he was shot at short range after he stepped out of his car near his home in the Russian city of Derbent, located in the predominantly Muslim republic of Dagestan in southeastern Russia.

The Jewish community assumes that the attack was a hate crime, and Russian police say the motive probably was anti-Semitic.

“Religious activity of Isakov is one of the attempted murder theories of the detectives,” police said.

Extremists “have put themselves not only outside of any religion but also apart from humankind; their only goal is to kill innocent people, chiefly those who promote eternal values, morals and spirituality, in this world,” Rabbi Lazar said in a statement quoted by Interfax.

“There is not and can be no compromise with terrorists: the state is not only entitled to but also obliged to use all means available against them. Several well-known muftis in the Caucasus, who professed moderate Islam and who called for inter-ethnic and inter-religious peace, have died at the hands of such thugs.”

Six years ago, the rabbi’s family home was attached while he, his wife and nine-month-old baby were in their bedroom.

The ZAKA rescue organization, Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and the local Jewish community worked to bring the rabbi to Israel.

Please keep saying Tehillim for Ovadia ben Zehava Chaya for a full and speedy recovery.

IDF, ZAKA and US Army Conduct Joint Search and Rescue Exercises

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Indiana National Guard Soldiers with the 19th CERFP (CBRNE [Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced Conventional Weapons] Enhanced Response Force Package), soldiers and marines who specialize in disaster response, the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit, part of the Home Front Command, and ZAKA (the Hebrew acronym for Disaster Victim Identification) participated in a joint training exercise, which focused on international collaboration in dealing with mass destruction events. These events may be the result of an earthquake or the falling of missiles, both of which require search and rescue missions. One hundred and twenty participants from all units trained for two days, recovering hundreds of “live” and “dead” dummies which were buried among the ruins on the campus grounds at the Jerusalem College of Engineering. The training entailed the use of advanced technology, search dogs from the IDF’s Oketz canine unit, and the practice of strategic cooperation under pressure.

The IDF and ZAKA have been holding joint exercises with the National Guard for several years. These operations are conducted primarily with the objective of sharing techniques and professional knowledge, and creating a better work dynamic between American and Israeli forces. In the event of a massive missile attack on Israel or a destructive earthquake, the Israeli Home Front Command will not be able to cope on its own, and the American Military SAR units will be called in to assist with rescue efforts. The training is conducted with these potential events in mind.

The Indiana National guard said that as part of a small-unit exchange, soldiers with the Indiana National Guard’s 19th CERFP trained alongside the Israelis to learn their search-and-extraction methods, garnered from multiple real-world events. The members of the National Guard took a tour of Jerusalem prior to the training, learning the history of the city.

ZAKA, established in 1995, is a non-governmental lifesaving, rescue and recovery unit, a volunteer based organization with about 1,500 members. ZAKA has an international division which cooperates with law enforcement, military and emergency services across the globe. They participated in rescue missions after the tsunami in Thailand, the Columbia shuttle crash, Hurricane Katrina, and recently, the earthquake in Japan. ZAKA specializes in the identification of victims of disasters, and held a special briefing for the American forces, explaining the fundamentals of Jewish law in regard to recovery and burial of victims. “We explained to the Americans that each victim is treated in accordance with his religion,” said Chaim Otmazgin, commander of ZAKA’s special units. “We are guided by the principles of respecting each individual, even after his death, without regard to his or her race, gender or nationality.” Matti Goldstein, spokesman for ZAKA’s international division, told Tazpit, “I welcome the opportunity for commanders and members of these units to participate in such a large scale exercise. It enhances the operational level immeasurably.” The Americans shared some of their identification and registration procedures with ZAKA.

The Home Front Command has been conducting a variety of exercises in the past months on the JCE campus, which has been declared a partially-closed military zone. The exercises are conducted over an area of about 4,000 square meters, among the ruins of old dorms which have been torn down with the intent of building a new campus. Deputy College President and CEO, Shlomzion Lulu, said that she was glad to facilitate these exercises on the JCE campus, providing these lifesaving units with an opportunity to further improve their skills. During the exercise, JCE students presented refreshments to the training soldiers.

Kiev Attack Victim to Be Treated in Israel

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Aharon Alexander Gorshonov, 25, the Jewish man who was attacked after he had left a seder at a synagogue in Kiev, will be flown to Israel for treatment.

Gorshonov was found on Sunday night in an area near the synagogue where attacks by neo-Nazi groups have occurred in the past, nearly a full day after the attack, with serious head injuries believed to have been inflicted by glass bottles.

He was in critical condition in a Kiev hospital after surgery. He also had bruises on his upper body.

ZAKA announced that he would be flown to Israel on Tuesday night, accompanied by ZAKA volunteers and a special medical team that flew in earlier Tuesday from Israel.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor in a statement Monday called on Ukrainian officials to hunt down the attackers. He called them neo-Nazis.

“This attempted murder by neo-Nazis in Kiev, just weeks after the Islamist murders in Toulouse, by groups who have nothing in common except for a visceral hatred of Jews, is a phenomenon that European leaders have to stamp out now,” Kantor said. “We call on European leaders to act swiftly to strengthen legislation, bolster education and increase intelligence sharing to prevent what could become a tsunami of hate and violence against the Jews of Europe.”

Toulouse Victims Arrive in Israel for Burial

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The bodies of the four victims of Monday’s shooting attack at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse arrived at Ben Gurion Airport accompanied by ZAKA volunteers.

The ZAKA International Rescue Unit handled all aspects of returning the four bodies to Israel. A special delegation from Israel, led by ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein, joined the volunteers from the ZAKA France. The teams worked at the school, clearing the scene and assisting in the forensic identification of the victims.

The bodies were flown out on the midnight El Al flight from Paris to Tel Aviv.

French, Israeli, ZAKA Volunteers Secured Full Jewish Burial in Israel for Toulouse Victims

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The bodies of the four victims of yesterday’s shooting attack at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse will be flown back to Israel for burial later Tuesday night, arriving in Israel at 4 a.m. local time. The funeral is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. in Jerusalem.

The ZAKA International Rescue Unit handled all aspects of returning the four bodies to Israel. A special delegation from Israel, led by ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein, joined the volunteers from the ZAKA France. The teams worked at the school, clearing the scene and assisting in the forensic identification of the victims.

One of the ZAKA volunteers reported that, after a short memorial ceremony in the courtyard of the Otzar Hatorah school, the bodies were transferred in an army plane to Paris. The bodies will be flown out on the midnight El Al flight from Paris to Tel Aviv. The ZAKA volunteers from France, working together with the delegation from Israel, assisted the local burial society with all matters relating to honoring the dead, collecting all the body parts from the scene of the massacre. According to an Israeli ZAKA volunteer, “the Jewish community in France is still in shock and cannot fully comprehend the scope of the disaster.”

ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said, “Yesterday, ZAKA  received a request from the family to assist them in ensuring their loved ones are buried in Israel. After a delay, we were successful in procuring burial plots for them in Jerusalem. ZAKA ambulances will take the bodies from the airport to the cemetery in Jerusalem.”

Innovative Bride Cuts through Funeral Crowd in ZAKA Ambulance

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

A young woman in Bnei Brak, Israel, had a problem Wednesday: she was about to get married, but the streets outside the wedding hall, situated next to Kiryat Vishnitz, also in Bnei Brak, were packed with thousands of Vishnitz Hasidim who came to pay their last respects to the Vishnitzer Rebbe. How would she get to her own wedding on time?

Proving once again that Israelis are nothing if not innovative, the young bride called the ZAKA (a humanitarian volunteer organization) hotline and, within minutes, a ZAKA ambulance arrived at her door to drive her through the crowds and get her to her chupah on time.

ZAKA volunteer Berele Yaacovitz was delighted at this unusual assignment. “I’ve been volunteering as a ZAKA driver for the last ten years and this is the first time I’ve been involved in a joyous event,” he said with a big smile. “It is truly an emotional moment for me to see my vehicle, which has seen such sorrow and tragedy, take a bride to her wedding.”

ZAKA Rescue Services Founder Condemns Haredi Violence

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, Chairman and Founder of ZAKA, lambasted a fringe ultra-Orthodox vigilante group he claimed were responsible for the recent violence emanating from the Haredi community.

The sikrikim are an anti-Zionist vigilante group with ties to Neturei Karta.

Meshi-Zahav made his comments in an extended opinion his Facebook page, where he asked what the difference was between terrorists and Sikrikim. “There would be outcry if terrorists dressed up as haredim, attacked a bus in Mea Shearim, broke its windows and injured innocent men, women and children. However, if haredim themselves did the same in the name of religious zealotry, it would somehow be seen as acceptable by the community.”

“They cry out against blasphemy in every realm,” he continued, “but the greatest desecration of God’s name is their actions, there can be no justification for mindless terror perpetrated against innocent bystanders in the name of ideology.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/zaka-rescue-services-founder-condemns-haredi-violence/2012/02/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: