Photo Credit: Courtesy
Duffel bags of humanitarian aid and supplies and a box of QuickClot Combat Gauze, a very expensive gauze that has a clotting agent to help to stop bleeding. PAR in partnership with other organizations has sent thousands of dollars of supplies.

Ever since the October 7 tri-pronged attack by Hamas, we have been inundated with requests to help Israel win Operation Iron Sword through donations and volunteer opportunities. We all want to help. We all want to send over the necessary supplies. But how do we know where to send our funds so they are not squandered?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a system in place so donors could directly hear from Israel medical professionals exactly what is needed and how much? There is, and it’s saving lives daily.


I was introduced to Project Aid & Rescue (PAR), a U.S.-based non-profit led by its founder Jeff Kaminsky, by Naomi Noble, an NYU clinical resource nurse who is part of Shomrei Torah Sisterhood of Bergen County, N.J. She became involved with PAR through Yael Kramer (HMHN Director of Operations Biorepository), and together they partnered with others to secure medical supplies from Hackensack Hospital, and then 40 pallets from NYU, to be donated to hospitals in Israel via chartered flights within the first weeks of the war.

After those first few weeks, donations from hospitals and the charter planes were rarely offered. Around the same time, the grassroots group from Bergen County was introduced to Kaminsky and PAR by local resident Arielle Setton, who had known PAR through their work in Ukraine. Soon they started working together to help Israel as the goals of both PAR and the Bergen County group were the same: to support Israeli hospitals, first responders and medical teams on an as-needed basis as medical needs arise.

It became apparent that PAR is not run like other organizations. Being extremely streamlined and organized, there is an unprecedented level of transparency in how the money donated is being allocated. Another fact that makes this organization unique is that all its workers are volunteers; therefore, 100 percent of donations go to Israel’s medical teams and hospitals. There are no prodigal expenditures since PAR communicates directly with hospitals and front-line medical teams, and even with Israel’s Ministry of Health, to find out exactly what items are needed and how many. They use an impressive database system called, which community member Tomer Shalom spearheaded, so that collaborating with Israeli medical professionals is done in real time and based on urgency. This helps to source medical supplies efficiently.

The brains and brawn behind PAR is Chicago-area resident Kaminsky. How and why did a Midwestern businessman get so heavily involved with helping Israel? “I have always been a staunch supporter of Israel and I believe it’s our duty to help protect our homeland. I was also bullied when I was in seventh grade for being Jewish,” Kaminsky discloses. “I was called terrible names and I desperately wished someone would have stepped up and got involved.” Eventually, his father taught him how to defend himself and he stood up to the bully, arousing a round of applause from the class. He promised himself he would not look the other way when people were bullied. That same summer he attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and met many Israeli shlichim and traveled to Israel with Ramah five years later. He learned about Israel first hand and was inspired by the way Israel stood up to bullies and defended the Jewish people while also helping people around the world.

This passion for tikkun olam fueled Kaminsky, leading him to become a volunteer first responder with the Northbrook Illinois Fire Department’s CERT or Community Emergency Response Team, and starting PAR 22 months ago after the invasion of Ukraine began. He traveled to Europe to help evacuate and resettle 400 Jewish orphans from Odessa, Ukraine, to Berlin and began raising money for the displaced refugees. Within a few months, Project Aid & Rescue, a 501(c)3, was born from his determination to aid innocent civilians whose lives were being destroyed. Over the last 20 months, PAR and their partners have shipped nearly $100 million of mostly donated pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

“I soon realized that our work in Ukraine had been my internship for what we are doing now to help Israel,” Kaminsky says. On October 7, everything changed. We pivoted and opened an Israel Emergency Campaign and focused on medical. A few short days later, he received a call from Israel’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and their newly created Emergency and Disaster Response Task Force, where they discussed high-value medical needs. PAR is now fully devoted to assisting Israel with medical and humanitarian needs. They have already successfully transported $500,000 in medical supplies and other humanitarian aid, including a shipping container that recently arrived at the Port of Ashdod.

Kaminsky’s goal is to have a centralized database to avoid duplicating efforts and to increase the efficiency of resources.

Thanks to, a system that PAR utilizes to streamline donations, they can itemize exactly what devices are needed, how much, including manufacture and model numbers and even supplier links on where to purchase them. “The medical needs in Israel are fluid and changing,” says Kaminsky, “so working directly with doctors and medical teams in Israel is key to being able to know what is needed and by which medical teams.

In addition to Jeff Kaminsky, Yael Kramer and Naomi Noble, the PAR team is comprised of about 30-40 professionals from the U.S., Europe and Israel, including Tomer Shalom, project manager at Deloitte, and Lior Hiat, who have been heavily involved with logistics, and Ilana Blackman from Northwell Health, who serves as a project manager; Dr. Mira Hellmann, Dr. Aliza Lieser and Dr. Maureen Nemetski are part of their medical team in the U.S. Rachel Brenner and Ella Steinmetz have been instrumental in sourcing needed medical equipment.

Their Israeli medical partners include, among others: Dr. Batsheva Tzadok, specialist in Emergency and Internal Medicine; and Dr. Yair Heskiau-Shteinberg, with Tel Hashomer Sheba Medical Center and chairman of Health, Research and Science in Israel NGO; and Mika Harari, crisis management team leader for the Jewish Community of Hamburg, Germany.

Kaminsky and many others on the team have been working tirelessly on PAR for the last 70 days, sleeping only four hours a night. Currently, PAR is busy fundraising with a goal of raising $3 million to supply the current needs of nearly 140 medical units and hospitals. Kaminsky admits the energy since the start is not the same. “Before we were in the sprint phase,” he explains. “Now we are in the marathon phase.” He says that donations from the community of the first several weeks have dried up and people who have donated have limited means. “We are not professional fundraisers; we are a grassroots group of dedicated volunteers and we are trying to find pro-Israel organizations and donors that want to help us with sending medical equipment and supplies directly to the medical teams in need.”

Here is a link to their current medical campaign: For more information, email [email protected].


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Ita Yankovich is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in various Jewish and secular publications. She also teaches English and Literature at Kingsborough College and Touro College. She can be reached at [email protected].