It has been more than 15 days since our team from Israel landed on the Polish/Ukrainian border to help the refugees. More volunteers from around the world have joined us and the calls keep coming in. Thank you to all who have come, who have donated, and who keep calling to help. As of this writing we have treated over 1200 people needing medical attention, helped get 70 Jews to Israel, and have sent over 900 kilograms of medical supplies to Jews remaining in the Ukraine. We also note that we managed to rescue two Holocaust survivors, on wheelchairs, over the border. But the work is not over.
Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern, of Young Israel of Scarsdale reports from the UJA delegation of 18 rabbis of all denominations that were asked to do a fact-finding mission, to see what the Federation of NY and partner organizations are doing. "Only 2 days here, but felt like 2 weeks. The pain and suffering, what these people are dealing with is unimaginable. Seeing all these women and children, separated from their husbands…separated….and their lives are just overturned."
Rabbi Morgenstern continues….telling me his grandparents got married in a Displaced Persons camp in Bergen Belsen 80 years ago and how strange it is to be seeing this similar wreckage…..hearing these stories. BUT, in the midst of all this devastation, it is incredible to see all these people making aliyah.
"Our job is to spread a little bit of light….give out candies to the children to let them know people care about them.
Morgenstern explained to me that the area at the border is called "shuk shel chessed" because of all the tents there, one after the other, set up with people helping, giving out food and supplies. When walking through the shuk, he says…." we were going to the medics at the border crossing and we saw an Israeli Flag and we were just completely taken aback….it was Hatzalah Without Borders"
Arieh Levi of Hatzalah Without Borders stands before the refugees and the people asking for help….they ask him "are you helping only jews?" What does he answer?
"We are here for Jew and for Non-Jew; No selection. They did selection 80 years ago, the days of selection are over."
Since 2001, Rescuers Without Borders (aka Hatzalah Y”osh) has been the primary supporter of volunteer medics, paramedics and ambulance drivers throughout Judea and Samaria, working in full coordination with Magen David Adom in supplying defibrillators, medical equipment, ambulances and training. Today the organization has over 1,000 volunteers also in the areas around Jerusalem and the Old City. Rescuers Without Borders and is funded completely by private donations and is a registered 501 c 3 charitable organization.