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Meet Canada’s ‘Magen David Adom family’

CM 06/09/2021

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Forty-eight Jewish people from around the world recently completed a unique program volunteering with Magen David Adom in cooperation with the Israel Experience company. This program lasted two months and trains them to work in ambulances and integrates them into the Israeli emergency response system.
Arielle Eisenberg, from Montreal, was stationed in Haifa. Her older sister, Sarah-Leah, volunteered in the same program and is currently studying medicine in the city’s Technion-Israel Institute.
The family has inaugurated the ambulance they donated in memory of their grandfather, David Eisenberg. 

“When our grandfather died, Grandma wanted to do something big in his memory and it was clear to all of us that she would donate an ambulance for MDA in Israel. The ambulance was stationed in Haifa today because for the family there is nothing more important than helping Israelis,” Ariella said.
Sarah-Leah came to Israel through the MDA Overseas Volunteers Program and the Israel Experience two years ago, where she continued from the course directly to medical studies at the Technion. She feels that the program played a decisive role in her choice of profession: medicine. 
Ariella also completed the program, describing the amazing experience of coexistence with volunteers from all populations of Israel. In one case, the ambulance staff spoke Hebrew, Arabic, and English and were called upon to assist patients who only spoke Russian.
“I discovered an amazing phenomenon of paramedics and drivers who do not know how to speak Russian, but who go to great pains to learn how to ask all the important medical questions in Russian so that they can swiftly provide care. I appreciate that and think it’s a great solution,” Ariella said. 

MDA end of course exercise (credit: Amit Vaknin/MDA Spokesperson)MDA end of course exercise (credit: Amit Vaknin/MDA Spokesperson)

When their grandfather, David, passed away, the grieving family commemorated his work by donating an ambulance to MDA in his memory. 
Ariella continued, “I was happy to volunteer and contribute as part of MDA in Haifa this summer. I now feel closer to my grandfather, who worked his whole life to save lives. Grandfather’s ambulance was stationed in Haifa today because for our family there is nothing more important than helping Israelis.”
Dr. Eli Yaffe, MDA’s Deputy Director General and the head of its Community Division said, “We feel a great sense of pride in the hundreds of young people who have decided to spend their summer acquiring remarkable experiences in an extraordinary setting. Instead of going to the beach and hanging out at parties, they have chosen the value of saving lives and helping others in the State of Israel, and also they constitute an overseas reserve for Magen David Adom in times of emergency and disaster.
“We thank the program staff, who have been working with us in fruitful cooperation for 30 years, connecting Magen David Adom to outstanding and eager-to-learn youth from around the world.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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