Hatzolah Darom endeavors to save lives and ease pain, by training and equipping volunteers to respond to the emergency needs of the residents of Southern Israel.
Rabbi Michael Schwartz
“Hatzolah Darom operates behind the scenes, far from the spotlight, yet with unconditional professionalism and devotion … your organization is deserving of much indebtedness and respect.”
“There is no doubt that the combined efforts of MDA and Hatzolah volunteers have significantly improved the services available to those in need, thanks to the ability to offer initial medical treatment in the shortest amount of time possible.”
People Behind Hatzolah Darom
Rabbi Michael Schwartz, Executive Director
Hatzolah Ashdod is his vision, born out of a crying need for speedy emergency care in his town of Ashdod. It was so successful and the situation so acute, it expanded to include all of Southern Israel. Rabbi Schwartz was born in Switzerland in 1958 , moved to England in 1964 and came to Israel in 1976. He studied at the Gur Talmudical Academy plus an additional 5 years. He also studied social work, and for 20 years worked with kids on the street with problems. In addition, he has served as director of several schools. These days he spends most of his time shuttling between Israel and the United States, promoting support for Hatzolah Darom. He and his wife Henya have 8 children and 2 grandchildren.
Operations Director, Yossi Weisenstern
In short, Yossi runs the show. He oversees all aspects of day-to-day operations to see that everything runs as smoothly as possible. His army experience on the medical team has prepared him well. He is still in the reserves of the IDF. Born in 1970, in Jerusalem, he now lives in Yesodot, is married to Nava and has five children.
Chief Dispatcher, Shlomo Dvir
This combat veteran of the tough Machal Unit is in charge of logistics and equipment. He is responsible for all purchases and his business experience as director of several big companies such as Gad and Kat, has sharpened his negotiating skills to get the most out of available limited financial resources. Shlomo and his wife Yael are the parents of four children and proud grandparents of three. He was born in Yesodot in 1957.
Volunteer Supervisor, Avi Eben
Chofetz Chaim resident Avi dispatches the volunteers in response to emergency calls. In addition, he supervises the training and performance of volunteers. His education at a Yeshiva with a secular studies program resulted in his becoming an engineer, then moving up to the post of Manager of Electricity in Chofetz Chaim. He is 41 years old, and he and wife Rachel have one child.
Treasurer and Financial Consultant, Elazar Bar Zev
Elazar is head of the Agricultural Department of the Lachish area and lives in Yesodot. He combines a Yeshiva background with sound business experience. He serves on the boards of several large corporations. He helps keep the finances of Hatzolah Darom on a solid footing. He was born in 1969. Elazar and wife Rivka are the proud parents of five.
The Volunteers: The Unsung Heroes
These dedicated men, now over 400 in number, spring from all walks of life. They are religious and secular, native and immigrant, old-timers and new arrivals – all united in one purpose, preventing the needless loss of life and easing pain when disaster strikes. They are prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice and do everything possible until the ambulance arrives. And credit must also be given to the families of these volunteers as well, who also share the burden of possible danger and interruptions to their own personal lives.
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