People stand in bomb shelter in Tel Aviv during rocket siren.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In the wake of incessant, nerve-racking rocket fire inducing protracted periods of isolation in bomb shelters, exacerbated by flashbacks of the Shoah, United Hatzalah has launched an initiative to provide medical attention to southern Holocaust survivors.
Noting the emotional and physical toll Operation Protective Edge has had on the nation’s southern survivors, United Hatzalah founder and president, Eli Beer announced that the non-profit’s Ten Kavod (Give Respect) program will treat survivors at no charge.
“For many of these survivors, the recent sirens and explosions brought back old fears and flashbacks to their experiences 70 years prior, reigniting their trauma,” said Beer. “Our visits are designed to identify and monitor deteriorating medical conditions to ensure that prompt and effective treatment can be implemented before irreversible or fatal damage occurs.”
To that end, apart from ongoing medical treatment at no cost, the organization will arrange weekly visits to monitor the status of the aging community.
According to Beer, the expansion of the lifesaving program was aided by a recent grant from the Claims Conference, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. The grant enabled United Hatzalah to buy additional monitoring and treatment equipment, he said.
“We are talking about people who aren’t only fragile because of their age, but those who cannot forget what happened to them in the war,” Beer continued. “For them, every siren brings back dreadful memories of fear, pain and grief.”
Through the Ten Kavod program, Beer said his goal was to reach out to all elderly people who are suffering from the current situation and “ensure that the added stresses don’t cause preventable tragedies.”
United Hatzalah is Israel’s first and largest fully-volunteer emergency rapid response service. With a fleet of over 300 emergency “ambucycles,” the organization’s 2,300 volunteers are able to respond to medical emergencies within minutes.
A non-profit organization that relies solely on donations worldwide, all emergency medical treatment is administered by fully trained volunteers.