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Photos: Founder Of Hatzolah Unites Worldwide Branches At First Ever Hatzolah Convention

YW-Hatzolah Convention-079.jpgThis past Shabbos was the first ever Hatzolah International Convention where hundreds of Hatzolah members from over 30 branches of Hatzolah from around the world united as one. The brainchild of R’ Hershel Weber, founder of Hatzolah, the event – which took place at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch NJ – was a huge Kiddush Hashem. The program began Thursday night at around 10 pm with opening remarks and diverei bracha by R’ Gedalya Weinberger followed by HaRav Oelbaum shlita who delivered words of Chizuk and Achdus.

Over the weekend there were many different seminars to go to from reading an EKG to Ambulance maintenance for the men “How to support your husband while he serves as a Hatzolah Volunteer” for the women. Additionally, Hatzolah of LA made a presentation stressing the importance of Disaster preparedness as they showed off their plan in case of large scale emergencies such as earthquakes. But the one seminar that nobody will forget is the one presented by Lakewood Hatzolah entitled “How to extricate the injured when precious moments count.” The members of Lakewood Hatzolah showed how to quickly and safely pull someone out of a vehicle in a bad accident. Using their brand new Extrication Equipment, the trained units pulled off 4 doors of a car, then proceeded to cut the roof off and then lift the dashboard so they can safely remove the patient from the vehicle.

One of the amazing things over Shabbos, was that Hatzolah members got to meet and talk to other Hatzolah members from around the world. There were members for as far as Melbourne Australia to as close as Jersey Shore. Divisions spoke to other divisions and traded tips and tricks as how to make Hatzolah most effective. Smaller divisions got Chizuk from the larger divisions and vice versa. The Shabbos Seudos and Davening were accompanied by the beautiful voices of R’ Chaim Duvid Desser and Hamezamrim. HaRav Shmuel Dishon shlita spoke multiple times over Shabbos and gave Chizuk to the oilam.

On Motzei Shabbos hundreds of additional Hatzolah members who weren’t able to make it on Shabbos joined the convention for a gala Melave Malka. The crowd was privied to hear from the Mashgiach HaRav Mattisyahu Solomon shlita, followed by beautiful surprise entertainment by Mordechai Ben David. Additionally there was a video presentation as a tribute to our unforgettable Hatzolah members Z”L, as well as a video portraying Toronto Hatzolah.

The Achdus seen on Motzei Shabbos will never be forgotten, as hundreds of Hatzolah members from all walks of life danced until 2:00AM. K’ish Echad Bilev Echad! No matter what size their Yarmulka is, what kind of hat they wear, or what kind of Peyos one has – these men have only one goal: SAVING LIVES!

Sunday morning, Mr. Net Lewin spoke about the Good Samaritan Law before everyone went back home. Much Chizuk was provided over the weekend and IY”H the convention will be done again, but next time in a much larger location.

Click HERE to see photos.

UPDATED (Letter submitted by Hatzolah member):

Dear Convention Staff,

Words cannot express my appreciation for all your hard work devotion, and dedication that you put in to make this inaugural convention such a tremendous successes. I don’t believe that there is ONE person that attended this Shabbos that did not have a great time.

People were trying to get in through all doors. Those that did not have reservations and did not attend, upon their arrival on Motzei Shabbos, were mesmerized by the magnitude of the event and all said next year “I will be here for Shabbos”.

Accommodations were hard to come to come by, but the professional manner in which Rabbi and Mrs Weiss handled the last minute switches and changes was something to be seen. Proof to the fact that people would do any thing to come for Shabbos, was that there was one couple that did not have a room on Thursday night and drove all the way back to Williamsburg. Upon hearing of a open room, he put his family in the car and drove right back!

Workshops on Friday afternoon proved to be educational and inspiring. Out of all of them you could not find a place to stand and get a view of the extrication show. When Shabbos arrived people just sat back and relaxed, schmoozing and laughing, over stories and calls from the years past.

Personally I believe we should make another convention next year. People from all walks of life together for an entire Shabbos was truly a tremendous Kiddush Hashem.

Members who on regular day you would not eat in their house sitting next to a fellow Hatzolah member who only eats meat he personally shects was an uplifting experience.

One of the most beautiful parts of the whole Shabbos was the fact that every one put there own politics aside to be friendly with one another. Suggestions for next year could go on for ever so we will leave it to the people that did such a fantastic job setting up and coordinating this years event to provide us with a even better program next year in Yerushalayim!

(Seen in photo above, is R’ Herschel Weber – founder of “Hatzolah”)

(Article and Photos: YW-99)

19 Responses

  1. Just curious – Did they leave anyone home to respond to emergencies over Shabbos?? The dedicated hatzolah guys deserve a break, but who was on call?
    Also the list of seminars in the article must have taken place before and after Shabbos which is not clear above. I doubt they spoke ambulance maintenance or extrication from a vehicle on Shabbos.

  2. In answer to number 4’s question it was held in Long Branch, NJ at the Ocean Plaza Hotel. It was a beautiful convention. My husband actually became a Hatzola member about a few weeks ago and we went up there with the kids and it was wonderful. Very leibidig. My husband is in some of the pictures. In answer to number 1’s quesion, yes, there were alot of people who were not able to come so they took care of the calls.

  3. There was no video presentation of the members who passed away, but a siyum l’zecher nishmasam.

    The Toronto Hatzolah video was shown – very nice video.

  4. I was there it was an amazing Kiddush Hashem.
    The best part was the Lakewood Hatzolah presentation those guys really know what there doing I’m amazed at how fast they were able to do it. They are obviously very well trained and coordinated, they each knew exactly what to do, it took just minutes to cut apart the whole car. I don’t think ESU could beat them and I’ve seen ESU do extrication on many times and they are not this good.

    Keep up the good work. and maybe you could train in our division.

  5. growing up in wmsbg. i still remember very clearly herschel weber running down lee ave. on hsabbos with (c0mpared to today) a HUGE oxygen tank in his hands –running like, pardon the pun, the malach hamaves was after him. i remember a neighbor of mine who in the middle of a shabbos seudah dropping his fork and bolting up 3 very long flights to check on my father who was having trouble breathing. and i also remember that these originators did it COMPLETELY l’shem mitzvah and not the shvitz too many of the members possess. may the need(s) for this organization be completely eliminated so that they can go out of business b’korov.

  6. As a Hatzolah wife, I would like to hear feedback about the women’s program. From the pictures, it looks like the men had a wonderful time. Perhaps we can hear if the women did too.

  7. My friend went with her husband. She said everything was very beautifully arranged, very,very organized, with fantastic babysitting for kids during the ladies’ speeches (incl. a carnival!). She came back with a great feeling of chizuk from it all. She also enjoyed meeting so many different types of people, from so many places.
    Is the video from toronto available to be seen anywhere? Can you put it on the site?

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