(photo credit: ZAKA)
ZAKA, a rescue and recovery organization, helped reunite hundreds of lost children with their parents after they were lost during the Lag Ba’Omer pilgrimage at Mount Meron.
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The organization distributed 15,000 wristbands that parents attached to their children in the event they wandered off.
In addition, dozens of the estimated 300,000 people at the site were treated with emergency first aid by ZAKA paramedics. No serious casualties were reported.
ZAKA and partners operated a special 24-hour hotline for missing
children and adults, which was open throughout the holiday marking the
death of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yohai 2,000 years ago. Three separate rest
areas for the lost children were set up on the site, and one was
dedicated to administering emergency first aid.
The organization also distributed 25,000 accidentprevention flyers in
the form of a Lag Ba’Omer song sheet, with instructions on how to
prevent accidents around the bonfire and the importance of road safety.
“There were many emotional scenes of parents reuniting with their
children,” said ZAKA chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav. “It is so easy to lose
yourself among the throngs of people celebrating at Mount Meron. In one
incident, it took ZAKA volunteers two hours to find the parents of a
two-year-old who had been found, on his own, at the entrance to the
Four ZAKA all-terrain vehicles, manned by 160 volunteers and three
ambulances, dealt with 478 incidents over the course of the