How a 90-year-old Ukrainian Holocaust survivor made it safely to Israel

How a 90-year-old Ukrainian Holocaust survivor made it safely to Israel

Eli Beers, Special For The Jewish Light

Eli Beer is the founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, and President of the U.S.-based organization Friends of United Hatzalah. United Hatzalah of Israel is an independent, non-profit, fully-volunteer emergency medical services organization that provides fast and free emergency medical first response throughout Israel. He and members of his team are sending the St. Louis Jewish Light their first hand accounts of what they are seeing and experiencing as they work to help Jewish Urkrainian refugees. 


On The Border with United Hatzalah

I was at the border of Ukraine and Moldova on Monday, attending to refugees at our soup kitchen. I met a 90-year-old holocaust survivor by the name of Mikhael and he couldn’t stop crying. He had to say kaddish for his father and he told me about his mother escaping with him from the Nazis and how he survived by sipping bread in water and milk. It took him 5 days to get to Kishinev, and he had no strength to continue. I told him we would bring him to Israel, he was hesitant. He didn’t own a passport since he never left the Ukraine. We connected with his family in Israel, and I told him that he is our brother, and we will take care of him.

We looked after Mikhael and got him the necessary permits from the Israeli council general in Moldova. The next day, he was on our bus crying, he couldn’t believe that he was going to Eretz Yisrael. He was scared to travel, I sat him in the row in front of me on the United Hatzalah rescue flight, from Kishinev to Israel with 160 other refugees, I made sure he felt safe. When we landed, we took him on a wheelchair, and I surprised him by letting him kiss a Torah that was rescued from a shul in Ukraine that suffered a direct hit. He didn’t want to just kiss it, he wanted to hold it as he arrived in Israel.

We made sure that Mikhael and the 160 other refugees who were on this flight, made it to a safe place in Israel.

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Busy 3 Weeks for United Hatzalah

This is what I’ve been busy with for the past 3 weeks.

We are rescuing people from the horrors in Ukraine, getting them to safety in Moldova, feeding them, sleeping them, arranging their entry permits and documents to get them to safety in Israel. The chartered flights that are bringing these refugees to safety, are sponsored by incredibly generous friends and supporters.

We already helped approx. 1,700 refugees make it to Israel, we served more than 40,000 hot meals to refugees. We treated over 5,000 people that needed medical assistance and our field hospital is open 24/7.

Just now, we fully equipped an ambulance with the most advanced equipment that can hopefully assist with rescue missions from within Ukraine. Our volunteers on the ground are assisting with rescuing women, infants and young children, and the elderly from Ukraine and bringing them to Safety.

The Mission of United Hatzalah

United Hatzalah’s mission is to make sure Israel is safe, but now, we cannot stand by the sidelines watching this horrible human disaster take place and not help. Thank you for all you are doing, and I urge you to share this message with others and get refugees to safety. We are continuing our campaign so please do whatever you can to spread the word. Mikhael is only one story of thousands of people who need our assistance.

Wishing you a Happy Purim and thank you again for all you are doing. If you or anyone else you know want to continue supporting this crucial mission, please share this link with them https://israelrescue.org/ukraineemergency or call me directly at +1 (646) 737-3728.