I’m putting this here and on my personal blog because it’s something I feel strongly about as a medic, a woman, and a Jew who lived in the Orthodox setting for a long time.

For those not aware, Hatzolah is a volunteer organization that responds to medical problems in the Orthodox communities in NY. They’ve been around for 50+ years and do an admirable job of balancing religious rules with the need to act in an emergency situation. 

A group of Orthodox women want to start their own verision of Hatzolah that would be all female and would respond to OB and gynecological emergencies only. There has been a large amount of backlash against their efforts by many in their community. 

This bothers me greatly as a woman who works as not only a paramedic but as a fire fighter. I have never had to let my male counterparts take the lead because I just couldn’t handle it. As a Jew who came from the same setting these women are in it bothers me that anyone would block this. Modesty is paramount to these women. Many will never lay a hand on a man who isn’t a member of their family and they certainly don’t want multiple male strangers, despite being medical workers, watching them give birth.

I think the above quote is the crux of argument against what these women want to do.

This is not only arrogant and insulting to the women who want to assist in a way that is in line with their religious rules but to every woman who works in emergency medicine. 

Mr. Jacobs, that line of thinking is far outdated. Look around you. Women work in every emergency field now and you don’t see it delaying their response time.


Message from Hatzolah of NYC:

Please be advised that NYC Hatzolah’s Emergency Phone numbers (718/212 387-1750 and 718/212 230-1000) have been operating and will continue to operate throughout the storm.

Hatzolah of Rockland (Monsey) has published a backup phone number (866-425-1600) WHICH IS FOR THEIR RESPONSE AREA ONLY. This number has accidentally been disseminated by individuals to people in other response areas. Please notify your friends and family that the phone numbers remains unchanged and are 718/212 387-1750 or 718/212 230-1000.

(People In Boro Park Covering Their Windows To Protect It From Hurricane Sandy)

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Lipa Schmeltzer and Shloime Taussig with Yedidim Choir Singing The Hatzolah Song.

Baruch Dayan Haemes: Police have found the body of Aron Sofer z”l.

The body of Aron Sofer, the 23 year old yeshiva bochur who went missing on Friday, has been found in the Jerusalem Forest in Ein Kerem, according to a spokesperson for Ichud Hatzalah.
VIN News has confirmed that a body was located by United Hatzolah volunteers who were among the many that took part in the massive search for the missing Lakewood resident.

Initial reports say that Sofer’s body shows no signs of violence and it appears that Sofer got lost while hiking last Friday.

Police, Hatzolah and Zaka are all on scene at the location where Sofer’s body was found.

Israeli police are conducting DNA tests to confirm the body is of missing Sofer.

10. Body Found in Jerusalem Forest May Be That of New Jersey Student - http://www.theblaze.com
TheBlaze.com - Stories -

Israeli police said they have found the body of a man near the Jerusalem Forest where a massive search has been underway for a missing New Jersey student.

Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, New Jersey, disappeared Friday while hiking with a friend in the forest. Hundreds of police officers, volunteers, helicopters and a canine search and rescue unit traversed the isolated area outside Jerusalem but had come up empty.

“Police confirm a body found in the Jerusalem forest. Forensics at the scene examining. Area closed off,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted Thursday. “Police forensics in the area looking into ID of body and the circumstances of death. Investigation continuing.”

Though the police have not officially identified the body as Sofer’s, Hatzolah Israel, a volunteer group involved in the search, tweeted that it was him.

“On scene in Jerusalem forest where Missing Body of Aron Sofer was found, missing since Friday,” tweeted Hatzolah, which means “rescue” in Hebrew.

Sofer had been in Israel studying at a yeshiva, or an Orthodox Jewish seminary.

Sofer’s parents arrived in Israel earlier this week, as the search continued. His family said on Tuesday that the FBI was aiding the efforts to find Aaron, but did not detail how.

Fueling concerns of the worst case scenario, a Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was killed in the same forest in June after being kidnapped, a murder that was believed to be revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens earlier in the month.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Tuesday that police had not ruled out that a terrorist attack could be behind Sofer’s disappearance, including investigating the possibility of “nationalistic” motives.

Sofer and his friend were separated while moving down a steep hill in the forest. The friend alerted the police when Sofer – who is a student at a religious seminary – did not appear during a time on Friday afternoon traditionally used by observant Jews to prepare for the Sabbath.


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Boro Park Hatzolah Tryout (2013)

Chesed at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

For six years, Eric Feldstein served as elected president of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun (CKJ) in New York City. In this role, Eric Feldstein led a congregation of more than 1,100 families.  Central to its mission, CKJ leads numerous initiatives in which its congregants regularly reach out to community members in need.

Congregation Kehliath Jeshurun has organized a variety of outreach activities. These include the KJ Food Pantry, which provides kosher produce and dietary staples throughout the community. CKJ members can also participate in other activities, such as Dorot, a senior citizen services program, and Hatzolah, an emergency medical services initiative.

Kehilath Jeshurun members also participate in larger-scale programs, such as the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) and Jewish Home Lifecare. The congregants also regularly send volunteers to the Educational Alliance, New York’s premier health and human services organization. Closer to home, CKJ members gather to support their own with initiatives such as Meals for New Moms, Lunch and Learn for seniors, and Chevra Kadisha. This broad range of programs allows CKJ members to contribute meaningfully to the NY City community and beyond.

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Beutiful performance of Motty Illowitz at last Motzei Shabbos’ Melave Malkve Hatzolah dinner.

Motty Illowitz and Yedidim Choir Performing “When a hatzolah Member Cries” At the Bp Hatzolah Auction in Ateres golda In bp On May 24 2014 Written and Sung By The Incredible Motty Illowitz Conducted and Arranger By the Talented Tzvi Blumnfeld Of Blue Rythem Studio’s and Production 

For the past five years, the Yedidim Choir has been enthralling music lovers all across the United States and Canada, with a distinctive sound all their own. They have sung with the biggest names in the Jewish music business, including Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Lipa Schmeltzer, Shloime Gertner, Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Yanky Lemmer, Shloime Taussig, Yisroel Werdyger, Yumi Lowy, Isaac Honig and Yoely Greenfeld and continue to garner rave reviews with each and every performance.

Yedidim, under the leadership of Yanky Orlansky, provides more than just musical accompaniment but rather custom crafted arrangements and harmonies, giving each and every note a unique and exceptional sound. With arrangements by the very talented Avrumi Berko, Tzvi Blumnfeld and Dudi Kalish, each of the carefully chosen voices plays a part in producing an uplifting musical experience that is nothing short of magical.

For more info visit http://yedidimchoir.com/