It was a festive ceremony during which the newest volunteers of Ichud Hatzalah were given their response vests, radios and emergency medical equipment, 24 volunteers who represent a significant increase in the size of the response team in areas of the eastern capital.
As is the case in the medical world, when it comes to improving care for those in need, there are no political or racial barriers and this is proven by Ichud Hatzalah as well, which has been responding to calls in the eastern capital for years. Actually, the organization enlisted volunteers from within that community and its logos and vests are in Arabic, perhaps explaining why there is less hostility to responders as opposed to other emergency services, which too often find themselves recipients of less than an embracing welcome.
Taking part in the ceremony was the imam of the largest mosque in New Jersey alongside with a rav from Newark New Jersey. They were participating in an interfaith conference in Eretz Yisrael. Also present was the fire chief of Newark.
As a result of the new members, the organization now has over 50 responders in that area of the capital, who join the nationwide response team of over 2,000 volunteers. Murad Elian, who heads the eastern capital team is a seasoned member of the organization and is well suited for the task after years of EMS service. His unit is the only exclusively non-Jewish battalion in the organization, and Ichud leaders are proud of the accomplishment, which simply shows actions speak louder than words.
Ichud founder and President Eli Beer laments the fact that the media does not pick up on such efforts, the humanistic side of events, pointing out that the norm appears to be a media desire to publish the negative side of events that occur while ignoring such events.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)