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March 6, 2014 12:03 pm

Ukrainian Jews Training for Emergency With ZAKA, United Hatzalah

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

Ukrainian Jews training with emergency responders with ZAKA and United Hatzalah. Photo: ZAKA and Israelife Foundation.

KIEV, Ukraine – The current political crisis in Ukraine has propelled its Jewish community to request emergency training the from Israeli emergency response organizations – United Hatzalah and ZAKA.

As the Ukrainian crisis developed during the past three months, Ukrainian rabbis appealed for help in emeregency response training. Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, the Ukrainian Chief Rabbi, and Rabbi Hillel Cohen of the Ukrainian Hatzalah made the request to ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav and United Hatzalah President Eli Beer. The men mobilized their organizations to work together to train the local Ukrainian community in only a matter of days.

United Hatzalah and ZAKA, in cooperation with the Isralife Foundation have worked together to train Jewish volunteers of the local Kiev Hatzalah. The Ukrainian participants received training in the latest emergency, and rescue and search techniques in order to respond and provide aid to mass casualty emergencies should the Ukrainian crisis escalate.

The Ukrainian participants have also been trained to provide first aid, including learning about the protocols for giving CPR, and treating suffocation, injuries, and diseases.

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“We were pleased to come to the assistance of the Ukrainian community during their time of need and provide the emergency training their volunteers need to handle local emergencies in an efficient and timely manner,” said Beer. “Both ZAKA and United Hatzalah each offered unique services and perspectives on emergency response and we were happy we could work together to help our fellow Jews.”

“We are grateful to both organizations for responding so quickly and generously to help our community in this time of need. The events surrounding us require our community to be prepared with the latest training and techniques so we can respond to emergencies and help our people quickly in these dangerous times,” Rabbis Azman and Cohen said in a joint statement.

In the Ukraine, much of the Jewish population is located in the country’s capital, Kiev, while other sizable communities reside in Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Odessa. Since the early 1990s, approximately 340,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

In related news, a Ukrainian man arrived in Israel for treatment on March 5 after suffering severe damage to his left forearm in Kiev’s Independence Square during the recent riots. Referred to as Alexander S., he was the first Ukrainian to arrive in Israel for treatment, following approval by Dr. Valeria Bivitzchik from Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, who recently volunteered with the Ukrainian Red Cross and arranged for injured citizens to be flown to Israel for medical treatment.

Alexander was brought to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot where he will undergo surgery to reconstruct the bones and repair the soft issue in his arm under the care of the hospital’s surgical and orthopedic departments in the coming days.

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