Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UK terror arrests a reminder: threat is real

The UK Christmas bombing campaign by nine alleged terrorists primarily targeted iconic sites such as the London Stock Exchange, Big Ben, the Millennium Wheel and the American Embassy in London. The religious sites on their list included Westminster Abbey and two British synagogues and rabbis (The CST is the lead British organization dealing with Jewish security, see their information here).

Prosecutors reported that the group had conducted pre-operational surveillance of some of their potential targets and had tested explosives.

This plot echoes many of the "homegrown terror" plots here in the U.S. and is a reminder that:

  • Anti-Semitism is a core component of Jihadist ideology.
  • Anti-Semitism is a common tool in the radicalization process.
  • Jewish-affiliated targets may be preferable for less sophisticated terrorists.
  • Jewish institutions may not be priority targets, but may become secondary targets or targets of convenience.
Jewish organizations should continue to operate with heightened vigilance. Review our security resources for suggestions and guidance at: Timely articles include Tips on detecting hostile surveillance from our partners at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and JCRC's Sample Building Access Policies and Procedures.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

JCRC commends NYPD & Shomrim in Hate Crime arrest

Alan Jaffe, President and Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York commended the actions of the NYPD and the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, saying: "The arrests of two individuals show what can happen when the NYPD and the community work together. It was great teamwork."

Monday night, a man leaving a synagogue was assaulted. The Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol responded, identified the perpetrators and held them until officers from the 90th Precinct arrived to arrest them.

Detectives from the 90th Precinct and the Hate Crimes Task Force jointly questioned the suspects, who admitted to last week's brutal Thanksgiving assault in the same neighborhood.

The suspects, who are 14 and 15 years old, have been charged with several counts of assault and hate crimes. "While these individuals are technically minors," explained Jaffe and Miller, "we call on the District Attorney of Kings County to petition that they be tried in Supreme Court. These individuals admitted to multiple felonies with bias motivation and this was not the first attack. They should be held accountable for their actions to the full extent of the law."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More tips for package screening

Wall Street Journal, "Focus on Cargo Security Steps", November 1, 2010

We continue to advise Jewish institutions to carefully screen their mail and packages. Be suspicious of any item coming from an unknown sender, especially unknown senders from overseas.
If you receive a package from an unknown sender and suspect that it could be an explosive device or it may contain a hazardous substance, do not disturb it, do not try to open it. Leave the room, close the door and call 911.  For specific steps see steps below.
The packages from Yemen discovered last week were designed to be hard to detect, even with an x-ray device. They prove that terrorist tactics are evolving and adapting to our security measures.

Although none of the following suggestions can definitively "rule-in" or "rule-out" a shipment, think about the following before opening any parcel:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rethinking mail screening

Due to critical intelligence information two sophisticated explosive devices shipped via air cargo with explosives were intercepted before detonation. John Brennan, the deputy national security adviser, said on Sunday that there might be additional devices like the two discovered last Friday.

Both of these packages were addressed to former addresses of synagogues in the Chicago area. However, investigators are still attempting to determine whether the devices were meant to explode in transit or at their ultimate destination.

General guidance
We continue to advise Jewish institutions to carefully screen their mail and packages. Be suspicious of any item coming from an unknown sender, especially unknown senders from overseas. Both devices were sent from Yemen, but some analysts speculate that terrorists might send devices to other countries for subsequent rerouting.

If you receive a package from an unknown sender and suspect that it could be an explosive device or it may contain a hazardous substance, do not disturb it, do not try to open it. Leave the room, close the door and call 911. Other suggestions for mail screening are provided below.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Plot Involving Suspicious Packages

Key Points from the NYPD
  • Since Thursday night, law enforcement officials identified two suspicious packages addressed to two synagogues in Chicago. 
  • Initial reports indicate that the packages contain explosive material. Forensic analysis is underway. 
  • The packages were discovered in Dubai and East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom. 
  • Cargo planes at Newark International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport originating in Yemen were searched for similar suspicious packages. 
  • Media reports indicate that one woman was arrested in Yemen on suspicion of mailing the packages and that authorities are searching for others.
Implications for New York City 
  • The NYPD is working closely with our federal partners in the intelligence community to investigate this incident. 
  • At this time, there is no known specific threat to New York City connected to this incident. 
  • The NYPD recommends that all New Yorkers remain vigilant. 
  • In the event a suspicious package is found, call 911 and do not handle it.
Implications for the Jewish community
  • There are no known additional specific threats to Jewish institutions at this time.
  • Jewish institutions continue to be targeted by those wishing to attack the United States.
  • Jewish communal institutions should review their security precautions and ensure continued vigilance, both for mail and direct threats.
  • Jewish communal institutions and known leaders should be suspicious of any packages from unknown senders. Terrorists know how to adapt. Do not assume that bombs only come from Yemen. 
  • In the event a suspicious package is found, do not handle it and call 911. Be prepared to evacuate your building.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yemen package alert requires increased vigilance

The JUF in Chicago issued an alert to Jewish institutions to be on the alert for suspicious packages that might be coming via UPS, FedEx, or by other means.The warning comes after a suspicious package, which contained a "manipulated" toner cartridge, was found Thursday night on a Chicago-bound cargo plane from Yemen, according to CNN. This incident is ongoing.
Organizations should review their mail procedures.It is likely that this incident was merely a test and those behind it will vary their methodology. Don't assume that you have to suspect certain senders or mail from specific countries. Everyone opening mail should be wary of mail coming from unknown senders, especially those overseas
Jewish organizations should increase their vigilance, in general. If you suspect that you received a suspicious package, call 911 immediately.
Feel free to contact the JCRC if you need additional information on mail screening.

Monday, October 18, 2010

JCRC-NY applauds conviction in Riverdale synagogue bombing case

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York salutes the work of the prosecutors who won the conviction of four men who plotted to bomb two synagogues in Riverdale and shoot down a plane at the Stewart Air National Guard Base.  The conviction was based on the stellar work of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the New York Office of the FBI and the NYPD.  We are grateful to all of them.

The evidence presented at trial was shocking, in that it demonstrated the visceral anti-Semitism of the defendants. We had no doubt that, given the opportunity, the defendants intended to destroy houses of worship and to kill and maim scores of Jews, soldiers and others. We are fortunate that our law enforcement agencies continue to be vigilant and were able to interrupt the defendants before they committed a heinous act.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tornado Watch Guidance

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of southern New York State and NJ. Click on the links for more localized information. 

A tornado watch defines an area shaped like a parallelogram, where tornadoes and other kinds of severe weather are possible in the next several hours. It does not mean tornadoes are imminent -- just that you need to be alert, and to be prepared to go to safe shelter if tornadoes do happen or a warning is issued.

Recently, New Yorkers have learned that tornadoes can happen here. To learn more about personal preparedness, click here. Jewish organizations should put their tornado watch plans into effect:
  • Flying debris is the greatest hazard in most severe storms. Make sure that your sukkot and their contents are secured or brought inside. 
  • Turn on local TV or radio, turn on and set the alarm switch on your weather radio, make sure you have ready access to safe shelter, and make your friends and family aware of the potential for tornadoes in the area.
  • Keep children at school beyond regular hours if threatening weather is expected; and inform parents of this policy. Children are safer deep within a school than in a bus or car. Students should not be sent home early if severe weather is approaching, because they may still be out on the roads when it hits.
  • Lunches or assemblies in large rooms should be postponed if severe weather is approaching. As illustrated above, gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums offer no meaningful protection from tornado-strength winds. Also, even if there is no tornado, severe thunderstorms can generate winds strong enough to cause major damage.
  • Get more information tornado preparedness and planning for schools  from the National Weather Service click here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TSA Guidance on Lulav, Etrog, et. al.

The TSA released the following guidance:

Religious Holiday of Sukkot

September 13, 2010

The travel period for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot is from September 19 through October 4, 2010.

Observant Jewish travelers may carry four plants – a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports and through security checkpoints. These plants are religious articles and may be carried either separately or as a bundle. Jewish travelers may be observed in prayer, shaking the bundle of plants in six directions.

TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of such agricultural items through the airport or security checkpoints, or on airplanes. These plants are not on TSA’s Prohibited Items List. And, as always, TSA is committed to treating all passengers, including passengers who may be observing Sukkot, with respect and dignity during the screening process.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricane Earl may visit: Are you ready?

As of this posting, Hurricane Earl is a Category 4 storm in the Caribbean. Forecasters predict that Earl will move up the East Coast and pass 100-200 miles off of Montauk as a Tropical Storm on Friday night/Saturday morning (see Shabbat tips below). The heavy wind and rains increase the likelihood of flooding, fallen trees, blocked roads and power outages, especially on Long Island. 

For more information (including an overview and NY area historic patterns and conditions), view an excellent presentation by I. Ross Dickman, Meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA's National Weather Service, New York, NY office.

The JCRC-NY recommends:
  • Be informed. Broadcast and print media are doing a good job, but storms can be unpredictable. Pay attention to the updates. For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
  • Plan and Prepare. 
  • Remember Shabbat. The storm forecast coincides with Shabbat which may require additional preparatory steps: 
    • Reach out to local officials. If you have special concerns over Shabbat (see below), discuss them with your local police of fire officials. 
    • Make decisions before the storm. The Orthodox Union issued Shabbat Protocols in Case of a Hurricane, written by Rabbi Kenneth Brander (now of Yeshivah University) with thanks to Rabbi Hershel Schachter for his guidance. While these protocols are an excellent guide to the issues of concern, consult with appropriate rabbinical authorities about specific guidance regarding the expected conditions of the upcoming storm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

View "Keeping your High Holiday Services Safe and Secure" webinar materials

The presentation by NYPD Director of Intelligence Analysis Mitch Silber on the evolving al-Qaeda threat and its potential impact on the Jewish community is considered confidential by the NYPD and not available.

Related materials

Friday, August 20, 2010

Protect yourself and your community from West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus has been found in all five boroughs during this mosquito season (June through October) So far this year; four New York City residents have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. 

West Nile virus is spread to people by infected mosquitoes.  Protecting yourself from mosquito bites is the best way to avoid West Nile virus.  Persons over 50 are at an increased risk for severe disease if they become infected. 

Click on the links for a Health Bulletin about protecting yourself and your community against West Nile Virus and a flyer specific to how to protect yourself from mosquito bites.  Please share these widely within your communities, with a special focus on getting this information out to those who are over 50.   

For further information on West Nile virus call 311, or visit   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nonprofit Security Grant results released

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced grants of $19 million in the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to non-profit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.

New York organizations fared particularly well, with 83 winners (71 in NYC) qualifying for $4,995,121 in federal funding to support target-hardening activities. New York applicants gleaned 30% of the grants (273). The number of New York winners grew by nearly 15% (compared to 2009) and the NY total grant amount increased by $380,000.

All applicants, whether successful or not, will be officially notified of their status by the the New York Office of Homeland Security (NY OHS).

We owe a special debt of gratitude to those dedicated public servants who actually administer the grants and answer our questions, especially Shelley Wahrlich, Steve Tierney and Valerie Bloomer. This program could not be successful without their dedication, patience and expertise. Thanks to Governor David Paterson, Acting NY Director of the Office of Homeland Security James Sherry and the entire NY Office of Homeland Security staff for their continuing, tremendous support for the Nonprofit Homeland Security Grant Program.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coping with the heat and power outages

With the extreme heat affecting the New York City area energy consumption is, and will be, at record levels and ConEd  requested that customers conserve energy (check out these tips). Blackouts are already occurring throughout the city and more are inevitable. Many simple steps can help you prepare accordingly, both to keep people safe and to ensure that your important services continue.
  • Be aware of others who are vulnerable to the heat and may need assistance (including older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, and those taking certain medications). Encourage them to use their air conditioner during a heat event. For additional information, visit
  • Keep water available and move people to a cool place (find a nearby city-run cooling center at
  • Have flashlights and batteries available (don't forget to test regularly -- suggestion, when you change your clocks).
  • Monitor radio or TV for up-to-date information ( have a wind up or battery operated radio/tv in case the power goes out).
Follow this link for more steps to help you and your organization through a power outage. Bonus: these steps are an easy precursor to more comprehensive emergency planning.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hate begets hate: Westboro Baptist Church exposed

Over the last year the Westboro Baptist Church picketed Jewish organizations in the NYC metropolitan area on several occasions. Find out more about them and their tactics from the ABC News report: Raised to Hate: Kids of Westboro Baptist Church.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prepare for an "active to extremely active" hurricane season

Yes, hurricanes can strike the New York area.

An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place. Forecasters anticipate the following to affect the Atlantic Basin:
  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
To get more information (including an overview and NY area historic patterns and conditions), view an excellent presentation by I. Ross Dickman, Meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA's National Weather Service, New York, NY office.

For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Evolving security threats require heightened vigilance

In light of the Times Square bomb plot, the subway plot and other recent events, intelligence and law enforcement analysts assume that Al-Qai’da and its affiliates have an undiminished intent to attack the United States and that there are people already here who might do so with little, or no, warning. The number and pace of the attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other one-year period. Note: there are no known, specific threats to the Jewish community or to our institutions.
Some patterns underlying of recent attempts lead analysts to consider the possibility of attacks using improvised explosive devices or small arms. Likely targets include “softer” targets such as transportation hubs and mass transit, government buildings and commercial facilities.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Times Square Car Bomb Info

Read the NYPD summary here. While there is no information indicating any connection to the Jewish community, the NYPD conclusions are relevant and Jewish organizations should factor these considerations into their security planning:
  • Vehicles loaded with incendiary materials are easy to procure and could potentially cause significant damage.
  • But as was the case in London and Times Square, timed ignition of incendiary devices is difficult at best.
  • Ordinary automotive vehicles draw little attention, however, vehicles operated in out of the ordinary ways, such as left running unattended or parked in a hurried manner, call for attention.
  • If You See Something, Say Something! Report suspicious activity to: 1-888-NYC-SAFE (1-888-692-7233)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New York State Non‐Profit Homeland Security Preparedness Study

New York State is fortunate to be the home of thousands of not‐for‐profit institutions (NFPs) that enrich our lives and provide vital services to our residents. These institutions provide the State with valuable and essential medical, religious, educational, social, cultural and recreational services that all New Yorkers benefit from. New York State is committed to working with the NFP community to identify its security needs and develop solutions to security vulnerabilities.

Read about the security needs of New York State not-for-profit institutions and what resources and strategies are available to assist with providing security here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

UJA-Federation Launches Chile Relief Fund

UJA-Federation of New York has established the Chile Relief Fund to help victims of the 8.8 earthquake that struck the country February 27th.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile,” said John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation. UJA-Federation will be working closely with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is receiving reports from their Latin American team stationed in the area. They are monitoring the situation by working closely with Chile’s Jewish community to determine critical next steps based on immediate needs.

Steven Schwager, CEO of the JDC, said, “As we have done recently in Haiti, we will leverage our strong partnerships in the region, including the local Chilean Jewish community, to provide a quick and effective response to the needs of those affected.”

Most of Chile’s diverse Jewish community lives in Santiago, but parts of the community are located in earthquake-affected cities like Concepción and Valparaíso-Viña del Mar. The community includes a Jewish community center, two Jewish day schools, and synagogues.

One hundred percent of funds raised will be used for relief efforts. Donations can be made to the Chile Relief Fund at

Saturday, February 27, 2010

JDC Accepts Donations for Chilean Quake Victims

JDC Experts Assessing Impact On Chilean Jewish Community

NEW YORK, NY, February 28, 2010— In the wake of today’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, announced that it will collect funds for relief efforts, said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Chile and, as we have recently done in Haiti, JDC will leverage our strong partnerships in the region, including the local Chilean Jewish community, to provide a quick and effective response to the needs of those affected,” said Schwager. “We are receiving up-to-the-minute reports from JDC's Latin America team on the ground, including the impact of the earthquake on Chile's Jewish community.”

JDC provides technical assistance to many Latin American countries including Chile, and is conducting a full and rapid assessment of the situation by working closely with Chile’s Jewish community to determine critical next steps based on immediate needs of the hardest-hit areas.

Chile’s diverse Jewish community, made up of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, is mainly located in Santiago, with Jewish families also living in affected cities like Concepcion and Valpariso-Vina.  The community supports a JCC, two Jewish day schools, synagogues, and has reportedly canceled Purim festivities as a result of the disaster.

JDC relief efforts are part of its International Development Program (IDP), which provides immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters.

To Make a Contribution:
By Phone: 212-687-6200
By Mail: check payable to
JDC-Chile Earthquake Relief
P.O. Box 530
132 East 43rd St
New York, NY, 10017

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

Since 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has given global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another.  Working today in over 70 countries, JDC acts on behalf of North America’s Jewish communities and others to rescue Jews in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize overseas Jewish communities and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens.  JDC also provides non-sectarian emergency relief and long-term development assistance worldwide.  For more information, please log on to:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

There's still time! New York Nonprofit Homeland Security Grant application due March 16th, 2010

  • Check out the new and improved JCRC-NY Security Grant website
  • Download a step-by-step application checklist for NY nonprofits
Get more info at:
  • Don't know how to start? Click here to download a step-by-step application checklist for NY nonprofits. The checklist offers "virtual" hand-holding and takes you through the application process.
  • Trying to schedule a vulnerability assessment?  Find out about your options, get suggestions and learn about possible pitfalls here.
  • Confused about the Investment Justification? Find guidance and tips for every section here
  • Want more help? View the training workshop slides or a one-hour training video.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ten Facts About Claiming Donations Made to Haiti

If you are donating to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti, you may be able to claim those donations on your 2009 tax return. Here are 10 important facts the Internal Revenue Service wants you to know about this special provision.
  1. A new law allows you to claim donations for Haitian relief on your 2009 tax return, which you will be filing this year.
  2. The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.
  3. To be eligible for a deduction on the 2009 tax return, donations must be made after Jan. 11, 2010 and before March 1, 2010.
  4. In order to be deductible, contributions must be made to qualified charities and can not be designated for the benefit of specific individuals or families.
  5. The new law applies only to cash contributions.
  6. Cash contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card may be claimed on your federal tax return.
  7. You must itemize your deductions in order to claim these donations on your tax return.
  8. You have the option of deducting these contributions on either your 2009 or 2010 tax return, but not both.
  9. Contributions made to foreign organizations generally are not deductible. You can find out more about organizations helping Haitian earthquake victims from agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (
  10. Federal law requires that you keep a record of any deductible donations you make. For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the organization receiving your donation, the date of the contribution, and the amount given. For cash contributions made by other means, be sure to keep a bank record, such as a cancelled check or a receipt from the charity. Receipts should show the name of the charity, the date and amount of the contribution.
For more information see IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions and Publication 3833 , Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations. To determine if an organization is a qualified charity visit, keyword "Search for Charities". Note that some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed on

'Israel could face earthquake similar to Haiti one' | Yediot Ahronot

Zvi Lavi
01.26.10, 13:14

Chairman of inter-ministerial committee for earthquake preparation says in special Knesset debate that Israel isn't prepared for earthquakes due to ongoing building failures. More . . .

IDF closes field hospital in Haiti | Jerusalem Post

Jan 26, 2010 10:08

Last night, two weeks after the IDF rushed to Haiti with hundreds of doctors to help treat those wounded in the devastating earthquake, the field hospital which it had opened - and which came to symbolize the exceptional Israeli rescue effort - finally closed its doors.

As of Monday, 1,102 Haitians had been treated at the facility. Among that number, 13 women gave birth naturally, three babies were delivered using Caesarian sections, and 314 operations were performed. More . . .

After two weeks, Israel team winds down Haiti mission | Haaretz

By Amos Harel

The Israel Defense Forces team in Haiti is finishing up its mission and will return home on Thursday. The decision was based on the recommendation of the Home Front Command, whose senior officers feel hey have fulfilled their role in helping the earthquake victims. In view of the large number of personnel and resources the command is deploying in Haiti and the U.S., it is believed the time has come to wrap up the mission. More . . .

'What happened in Haiti will happen in Israel' | Haaretz

By Jonathan Lis

An earthquake of the same magnitude as the one two weeks ago in Haiti or stronger is certain to strike Israel, Avi Shapira, chairman of the National Earthquake Preparedness Committee, said on Tuesday.

"I just returned from Haiti," Shapira told a special Knesset committee that gathered in the wake of the Haiti disaster to discuss Israel's readiness to deal with earthquakes. "What happened there will also happen here." More . . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Op-Ed: In Haiti, Israel puts ‘tikkun olam’ in action | JTA

By Asaf Shariv
January 24, 2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The terrible disaster in Haiti has shown the world not only the power of Mother Nature but the power of the human heart. All over the world, aid has been pouring in to rescue trapped survivors and provide medial services to the hundreds of thousands of victims. Read more . . .

Israel Aid Mission to Haiti Slideshow | Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

View Slideshow

Haiti/Israel Field Hospital | United Nations

U.N spokesperson in Haiti commends Israeli team on a "magnificant job".Watch at MINUSTAH

Miracle Rescues 10 Days after Earthquake | CBS News

(CBS/ AP) After being trapped in rubble for nearly 10 days, an Israeli Search and Rescue team saved a 22-year-old Haitian man from a collapsed three-story building. The man was transferred to an Israeli Defense Field Hospital and is in stable condition. More and video.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

From NYC Councilmember Gale Brewer

To my friends at the JCRC:

I know that you have heard this before, and the papers have lots of stories, but I thought you would be interested in this e-mail that I received from African-American and Haitian friends. None of this amazing work by the Israelis is surprising to anyone who knows them, but I am glad that the rest of the world is finding out.

Best, Gale

Subject: Brief update on medical aid coordination in Haiti
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 08:56:40 -0500

Dear M__,

There is currently a lack of coordination of the aid sitting at the airport and not getting to the residents. The US leadership must coordinate with Haitian Physicians on the ground whom know the facilities to distribute medical supplies. The military must use their truck to disbribute aid and transport medical supplies, not just armed military all over. U.S. air traffic controllers in charge of the Aeroport International Toussaint Louverture are diverting aircraft carrying medical supplies and other humanitarian aid. U.S. military flights were getting top priority. About 200 flights a day are taking off and landing at the one-runway airport each day. With the seaport closed by earthquake damage, hundreds of tons of aid sit waiting at the airport, the only port of entry. U.S. military helicopters routinely load the cargo at a grassy landing zone between the runway and a crowded tarmac and airlift it to at least eight distribution points throughout the city. The military intends to open two other airports within the next two days, Allyn said Tuesday. One will be about 25 miles from Port-au-Prince, while the other will be in the adjacent to the Dominican republic. The U.S. military has 2,000 troops on the ground and will increase that level to 10,000 in the next few weeks, the general said. The military has distributed 400,000 bottles of water and 300,000 meals since the earthquake. But many aid workers -- or those who would like to help find themselves increasingly frustrated. At Sylvio Cator Stadium, where hundreds of displaced Haitian families have set up camp, a team of Israeli doctors has treated about 500 patients in the past three days. The Israeli disaster relief doctors have electricity, imaging technology, icu, and neonatal incubators and and telemedicine capability on the ground. The world should take note of the impressive Israeli ability that should a model for disaster relief that should be followed in the future and in the reconstruction of Haiti. The Israeli effort is a welcomed contrast to their excessive military operations in Palestine in the past.

Bin Laden: Attacks on U.S. to go on as long as it supports Israel | Reuters

A purported audio tape of Osama bin Laden aired on Al Jazeera television claimed responsibility for a Dec. 25 attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound plane, and vowed to continue attacks on the United States, as long as it supports Israel.  Read more. . .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti's Medical Crisis: Treating Crushed Survivors | Time

by Jay Newton Small
Jan. 21, 2010

Jean Marc Loremas, 46, carried his niece more than a mile from their home in the La Plaine area of Port-au-Prince to a sparsely populated industrial zone. There he nodded to two foreign guards in olive green fatigues and about a dozen semiambulatory earthquake victims who were already lined up on various pallets, crutches and canes before pounding on a metal sliding gate.

"Shalom?" came the response as the eyehole shot back. Loremas explained his needs, and soon an Israeli doctor came out to examine the woman's broken femur. Read more . . .

Capt. Barak Raz Describes IDF Aid Mission's Progress in Haiti, 20 Jan 2010

Haitian Man, Buried Under Rubble for 10 Days, Rescued By IDF Team

NY Red Cross Update

FROM: Terry Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer
DATE: January 22, 2010

Nine days after the earthquake in Haiti that caused so much devastation and destruction, affecting lives, buildings and the infrastructure of the country, the American Red Cross continues to accelerate its efforts on the ground, engage and support the Haitian communities in the United States and raise the funding that will be required to support the response and recovery work that will be needed. Here are the highlights since our last communication and I also encourage you to look on our website: and the NHQ website: where many of these highlights are reported in more detail.

  • President & CEO, Gail McGovern, accompanied International Services Senior Vice President, David Meltzer to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday where she began planning for a multi-year recovery operation with other Red Cross leaders from around the world and heads of state in the region. As learned from our response and recovery efforts after the Tsunami, it is essential to provide the immediate on the ground aid and at the same time begin to plan for the long term recovery of this devastated country.

    On Wednesday Gail and David witnessed the extensive damage and need as well as the growing presence of Red Cross services. Through first aid posts, hospitals, relief distribution sites, water trucking programs and family links stations, volunteers and staff from seven Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, including the Magen David Adom, are beginning to make life better for the survivors. This is the largest single-country deployment in global Red Cross history.

  • More than 70 Creole speaking American Red Cross volunteers have been trained and today will join the USNS Comfort, offshore in Haiti , to translate for patients receiving medical care from the US Military. I am proud to tell you that 43 of those volunteers come from the New York area and our People Resources and Disaster Services teams worked tirelessly to get these selfless volunteers, screened, oriented and supplied with the essential information they need for this 30 day deployment, while Marketing/PR worked with the media to share this remarkable story.

    On Wednesday evening, the New York volunteers who joined this specific mission attended a “Send-Off” attended by Vice Chair of the Board, Blake Moore and Board member, the Rev. Calvin Butts. They were joined by NYC council member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, who is Haitian and represents the community in Brooklyn , Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer for the Mayor’s Office of NYC Service, and representatives of the NAACP, Local 1199 SEIU and Haitian Americans United for Progress.

  • Here in New York , particularly in Brooklyn with the largest Haitian community in our area, we are providing significant crisis counseling support through the schools and the churches. We also remain in touch with many of our partner groups who work in the affected communities.

  • The Chapter’s Emergency Communication Center continues to field calls from our community with questions regarding donations, volunteers and connecting families. Since the earthquake struck, they have answered over 4,300 calls.

  • There are a number of telethons this coming weekend and we have been supporting them with pre-recorded messages that will be incorporated into these events – these include MTV (Friday), Univision (Saturday) and A & E (Sunday). In addition I have been interviewed by Crain’s for an article that was very positive and we are still receiving requests for updates from our various local television stations. Yesterday, Rosemary Mackey accompanied by more than 20 volunteers in their Red Cross jackets had the opportunity to open the NASDAQ and talk about the Red Cross’ relief efforts and to remind the listeners that individual and community preparedness is important for us all as we never know when disaster may strike. Bob Imbornoni will be the Sunday morning guest at 11:30am on WABC’s program TIEMPO – a station that targets Hispanic issues.

  • he development department continues to receive contributions from generous corporations, foundations and individual donors in our community. With the help of volunteers, we have processed 150 3rd-party agreements with individuals and organizations who are arranging fund-raisers in support of the Red Cross for Haitian relief efforts.

  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter visited the Chapter briefly yesterday to thank the staff for the incredible work they are doing. She briefed us on the visit by President Obama and the First Lady to National Headquarters earlier this week and then she made calls to some of our major donors to thank them for their past support and to encourage them to continue their generosity. Board members, Blake Moore and Bill Gray have also telephoned some of our major corporate leaders and major individual donors to thank them for their support.

There is much left to be done which I will share with you in the days and weeks ahead.

Haiti’s Jewish Remnant Keeps the Faith and Lends a Hand Amid the Crisis | Forward

By Gabrielle Birkner
Published January 20, 2010

Each year on Yom Kippur, Rudolph Dana locks himself in his Pétionville, Haiti, home — protected by guard dogs and security personnel — and passes the Day of Atonement fasting, praying and reciting the traditional liturgy of repentance and forgiveness.

Up until about 10 years ago, Haiti’s tiny Jewish community would gather in a home on Yom Kippur and pray alongside a video recording of a Yom Kippur service that Dana’s brother-in-law, a cantor at a New Jersey synagogue, had mailed to him. But in recent years, the community has become too small and disjointed to warrant even such modest holiday gatherings. Read more . . .

Israel’s Relief Effort in Haiti Saves Lives, Boosts Image |

By Nathan Guttman
Published January 20, 2010

The crowd broke out in cheers as an ambulance pulled out of what was once Haiti’s main tax administration office, carrying a survivor rescued from the wreckage by an Israeli team four days after this city’s devastating earthquake.

“Bravo!” the onlookers shouted. “We love you, Israel.”
It was a picture-perfect moment for Israeli public diplomacy.
Israel’s Relief Effort in Haiti Saves Lives, Boosts Image –

Friday, January 22, 2010

My mission, my country, my lucky escape | Jerusalem Post

Jan. 21, 2010
by Hilary Leila Krieger

Cantave Jean-Baptiste had just left work last Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince and was maneuvering his car through rush hour traffic when he felt a huge jolt that propelled his vehicle through the air.

"I felt like a very big truck hit my car, but when I turned back I didn't see any car," recalled Jean-Baptiste.

His vehicle had landed with a hard thud. He then noticed that a six-story school beside him had collapsed and people all around him were screaming and crying.

Slowly he realized that he had just experienced a massive earthquake, surviving without so much as a scratch. Read more . . .

A Flight Is Diverted by a Prayer Seen as Ominous | New York Times

By James Barron
Published: January 21, 2010

The plane, a 50-seat regional aircraft that was less than a third full when it took off from La Guardia Airport, had been climbing through the early-morning sky for about 25 minutes. A 17-year-old passenger in a whitish sweater took out something he had carried onboard, and strapped it onto his wrist and his head. Read more. . .

For Israelis, Mixed Feelings on Aid Effort | New York Times

By Ethan Bronner
Published: January 21, 2010

JERUSALEM — The editorial cartoon in Thursday’s mass-circulation Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot showed American soldiers digging among the ruins of Haiti. From within the rubble, a voice calls out, “Would you mind checking to see if the Israelis are available?” Read more . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

JDC's Haiti Relief-One Week Later

Millions of lives-and the future of a nation-are still in jeopardy.

One week after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti, global relief efforts are battling the clock and multiple aftershocks to meet the vast humanitarian needs of the Haitian people. The good news is that JDC and its partners on the ground are reaching victims every hour with critical medical, nutritional, and material relief.

Supporters of JDC are directly responsible for this progress to date:
  • As of January 20, JDC has received more than 8,000 individual gifts-exceeding $1.5 million-for Haiti relief. An additional $2 million has been raised for JDC Haiti relief by the Jewish Federations of North America.
  • Within days of the disaster, JDC-supported relief agency Heart to Heart International and its team of doctors and nurses were on the ground providing critical medical aid first in Port-au-Prince and later in Leogane, an isolated town where little other assistance has reached.
  • The Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, another JDC partner, is operating a field hospital in Port-au-Prince that is saving lives and administering vital medical care. JDC helped equip the hospital with high-demand orthopedic devices and infant incubators for its neonatal unit. This effort has been widely reported in the news, including on CNN , FoxNews , and Israel's Channel 2 (please view this link in Internet Explorer).
  •  Working in collaboration with the Afya Foundation, JDC sent a container of mattresses and much-needed medical supplies to Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health, a renowned local NGO. A second container is being shipped on Friday and a third will follow.
  •  JDC is also supporting EcoWorks International which is currently setting up a feeding program for victims.
  •  Further partnerships with local NGOs are being explored by JDC to provide emergency assistance during this initial stage of its disaster response.
  •  JDC is continuing to coordinate its activities with the White House, the Department of State, USAID, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, the United Nations, and the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief.
JDC's work and impact will be felt long after images of the devastation disappear from the news. As with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, JDC will reserve a large portion of funds raised for Haiti relief for intermediate and long-term rebuilding and reconstruction programs. The goal is to effect sustainable improvements in health, education, and employment throughout the island nation.

JDC brings unparalleled experience to this effort through its International Development Program (IDP), which has provided immediate relief and long-term development assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters in more than 60 countries.

To Make a Contribution:
By Phone: 212-687-6200
By Mail: check payable to
JDC-Haiti Earthquake Relief
P.O. Box 530
132 East 43rd St
New York, NY, 10017

UN, US ask Israel to send cops to Haiti

By Yaakov Lappin Updated Jan 21, 2010 10:02

Following a request from the United States and the United Nations, the Israel Police will send dozens of armed officers to join peacekeeping efforts in Haiti, the Public Security Ministry announced on Wednesday. Read more . . .

Israeli aid effort helps Haitians—and Israel’s image | JTA

By Uriel Heilman · January 19, 2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The text messages started coming in to Shachar Zahavi’s cell phone in the middle of the night: "What are we going to do about Haiti?”

Zahavi, chairman of IsraAid, a coordinating organization for 17 Israeli and Jewish humanitarian groups, hadn’t even heard yet about the earthquake that had rocked Port-au-Prince, leaving untold thousands dead. Read more . . .

The big lie of Israeli 'Organ Harvesting' resurfaces re Haiti Earthquake

New York, NY, January 21, 2010 … In a disturbing illustration of what can happen when one person takes a message of hate and incitement to the Internet, the Big Lie of Israeli organ harvesting for profit has again resurfaced and gone global practically overnight, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Claims that the Israel Defense Forces mobile hospital unit in Haiti may be involved in stealing organs were first made in a video posted on YouTube by a Seattle man who identified himself as “T. West” of “AfriSynergy Productions.”

The allegations in his video spread globally in less than a day – a phenomenon that ADL said “demonstrates both the power of the Internet to spread disinformation, and the ability of any individual to disseminate the Big Lie with ease.”

“We have entered a new era where any individual can perpetuate a lie and spread it globally from the confines of his home,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The video-sharing technology enables one person to pick up something that is completely wrong and to push it out as fact.”

Several anti-Israel Web sites and Middle East news sources have reported as credible the allegations made by “T. West” that the Israeli medical mission in Haiti may be involved in stealing organs from earthquake victims. According to ADL, the charges of organ harvesting for profit have appeared on various Web sites, including that of Press TV, a state-funded Iranian TV news channel; the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, an armed wing of the terrorist group Hamas; and the site of Alex Jones, an American anti-Israel conspiracy theorist.

Each of the reports directly cites the YouTube video post from Seattle, in which “T. West” charges that the Israel Defense Forces in Haiti may attempt to steal organs. “People have to be aware of personalities who are out for money,” T. West states. “The IDF has participated in the past in steal [sic] organ transplants of Palestinians and others.”

“The world is watching the images coming out of Haiti, and Israel’s state-of-the-art medical facility has become a focus of many news reports,” said Mr. Foxman. “It is hardly surprising that Israel’s enemies are looking for ways to turn the story of Israel’s success in saving lives into a negative. What is surprising is the alacrity with which they pick up on any thread of spurious information on the Internet that may cast a negative light on the Jewish state, no matter how dubious or untrustworthy the source.”

In September 2009, rumors of Israeli organ harvesting in the Palestinian territories spread globally following the publication of a false and malicious article in a Swedish newspaper that Israeli soldiers were harvesting Palestinian organs for profit. Similar rumors were reported in newspapers across the Middle East. The false story quickly mushroomed into a full-blown conspiracy theory alleging a Jewish plot to harvest organs from Algerian children, and others.

ADL has called the rumors of organ harvesting for profit “a new version of the ancient blood libel” which alleged that Jews use the blood of Christian children to bake their Passover bread.

“T. West” is an online moniker used by Theautries West, a Seattle activist who has posted a number of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic videos on YouTube. In a six-part series of videos in August and September 2009, T. West advanced the allegation of Israeli organ harvesting. In one video he states: “Not only in Israel against the Palestinian people … but possibly in other countries around the world, Israelis have been taking body organs and selling them for a very high price to others around the world and inside of Israel.”

In his videos West seems to maintain that Zionists and some Jews do not have a legitimate claim to their identity. He frequently refers to Jews in quotation marks, and calls for African-Americans to cut ties with Jews, who he claims are being “used and abused by many among a group of people who are among the wealthiest in the world.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti: Facts Important to Response and Recovery

Dr. Paula G. Panzer, Director of the Martha K. Selig Educational Institute Center for Trauma Program Innovation of the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services suggests another good resource:

This Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) fact sheet contains information specific to Haiti, including demograhpics, health status, and economy, which will aid responders in understanding the population and environment in Haiti.

Check here for other related resources.

Jewish Artists for Haiti

Thursday, January 28, 2010
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (30 W. 68th St. @ CPW)
Workmen's Circle invites you to spend an evening with artists, activists and friends on honor and support of our Haitian brothers and sisters. Doors will open at 6 pm.

Tickets at a min $18 donation- but give what you can. Advanced tickets available at or a the door.

100% of funds raised will be donated to the following organizations:
American Jewish World Service's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund

Artists Include: Aaron Alexander, Adrienne Cooper, Alicia Svigals, Amy Coleman, Art Bailey, Avi Fox-Rosen, Basya Schaechter, Benji Fox Rosen, Cantor Dan Singer, Dan Rosengard, Eve Sicular, Frank London & The Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Gary Lucas, Greg Wall, Isle of Klezbos (Pam Fleming, Debra Kreisberg, Eve Sicular, Melissa Fogarty, Shoko Nagai, Saskia Lane), Jennifer Miller, Jeremiah Lockwood with Sway Machinery, Judith Sloan, Matt Darriau, Neshama Carlebach &The Green Pastures Baptist Choir, Noah Solomon, Richie Barshay, Soulfarm, Veretski Pass (Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Siegelstein), Yiddish Princess (Sarah Gordon, Avi Fox Rosen, Yoshi Fruchter), and Zalmen Mlotek

To purchase your ticket in advance visit or call 212.889.6800 x 212 to order with Kathy.

FM Liberman requests an allocation of Israel Police officers for Haiti 20-Jan-2010

FM Liberman requests an allocation of Israel Police officers for Haiti 20-Jan-2010

Opening Hearts, Wallets for Haitians | Jewish Week

Steve Lipman | 1.19.2010
At a Jewish Y on Long Island, Jewish employees take up a collection for the families in Haiti of two maintenance men. In Brooklyn, members of the haredi Orthodox community hold a historic meeting with representatives of the borough’s Haitian-Americans. In southern Florida, a former New Yorker travels to Haiti on short notice to help the relatives of his Haitian-born employees. More. . .

The IDF field hospital treated two children who were saved from ruins by a New York rescue team | IDF

On Tuesday night (Jan. 19), an additional team joined the IDF forces operating in Haiti since last week’s earthquake, consisting of GOC of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, CEO of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Eitan Hai-Am, and the Chief Medical officer, Brig. Gen. Nahman Esh. After landing, the team arrived at the IDF field hospital and was updated on the current situation regarding the treatment of victims.

As part of that briefing, Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Arye, the commander of the delegation, informed that the search for survivors in the ruins will be stopped. The Home Front Command forces operating in Haiti as part of the IDF delegation will stay prepared, and will only be called to action when they receive a precise report on the discovery of a person buried under rubble at a specific place.
During Tuesday night (Jan. 19), two children were found alive under the ruins of a building, where they had been trapped for almost a week. A joint team of New York fire department and police forces succeeded in rescuing them. The children were transferred to the IDF field hospital in Port-au-Prince. Their condition is defined as stable and they have not suffered serious injuries.

ZAKA mission to Haiti 'proudly desecrating Shabbat' | Yediot Ahronot

Amit Levy | 01.17.10, 10:23

Religious rescue team holds Shabbat prayer with members of international missions in Port au-Prince. More.

Jewish prayer for Haiti | Yediot Ahronot

Rafi Ostroff | 1.19.10, 18:22
Haiti quake a reminder that Jews must hold love for all nations of the world. More.

'We're proud to be part of the aid here' | Jerusalem Post

"Even hours of training and drills do not prepare any person for the sheer scale of destruction we are witnessing and our helplessness when facing the local population's expectations," the head of Magen David Adom's team in earthquake-shattered Haiti wrote in a message back home on Wednesday, moments before another quake shook the country.

Jewish community mobilizes giving to Haiti | JTA

Jewish community mobilizes giving to Haiti | JTA

DCS chaplain deploys to Haiti

NEW YORK, 19 January, 2010 -- Disaster Chaplaincy Services' (DCS) chaplain, Rev. Noster Montas is being deployed with a group from the New York area on a 30-day mission aboard the USNS Comfort off the coast of Haiti.  Montas is part of a 47 person contingent deployed by the American Red Cross in Greater New York and the Miami Red Cross chapter to be translators on the medical ship.  In addition to the DCS chaplain, included in the team are volunteers from the American Red Cross, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers, and the Haitian Americans United for Progress, all of whom are fluent in Kreyol and English.

Montas and the rest of the Greater New York Red Cross volunteers leave tomorrow to meet the USNS Comfort already en route to Haiti.  While Montas is out of the country, DCS will be staying in touch with his wife and two children to offer them support through this time.

Montas is a great example of what it means to be a Disaster Chaplaincy Services volunteer.  On one hour notice he cleared his schedule for the next month and made himself available for this difficult deployment.  His understanding that service is a sacrifice inspires all of us to use the gifts we have been given to help others in their time of need.

Thank you to Vince Porcelli who is our On-call Lead this month and has spent countless hours on the phone and email scheduling and organizing DCS' local response.  And a special thank you to all the DCS chaplains who have deployed to the various sites around the city to listen, companion, and support all those in the Haitian community affected by this heartbreaking earthquake. DCS chaplains continue to be on alert and on call.
Our thoughts and prayers go with everyone on the USNS Comfort and to all the people of Haiti.

"L'union fait la force"--"In unity there is strength"

Peace and blessings,
Rev. Julie Taylor
Executive Director

Donate now to support the ongoing work of Disaster Chaplaincy Services.

Please visit our website for updated information

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peres thanks Israel's rescue team in Haiti

Published: 01.19.10, 18:15 / Israel News

President places phone call to members of Israeli aid delegation at field hospital they set up in Port-au-Prince to express his appreciation. 'You are people's defense force,' he says. Yediot Ahronot report.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen visits a Haiti hospital where patients are desperate for better medical care.

National Child Stress Network Resources: Earthquakes

Paula G. Panzer, MD, Director of the Martha K. Selig Educational Institute & Center for Trauma Program Innovation at the Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services, recommends materials from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

They were written by experts, for this crisis, with a culturally appropriate lens and review team (the Creole translation is in the works. Check out their information and materials.

IDF Home Front chief heads to Haiti with reinforcements

OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan left Monday night to head a second IDF delegation to assist the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti, and will deliver staff reinforcements and additional medicine and equipment to the field hospital in Port-au-Prince. Jerusalem Post report.

Israeli medical unit in Haiti: Where will orphans go?

Lone baby and young girl with broken leg among many injured being treated at IDF hospital. Staff: So many orphans arrive here but where will they go afterwards? Adults also find themselves homeless. Yedioth Ahronoth reports from Port-au-Prince.

Praise for Israeli mission in Haiti: 'Only ones operating'

Israeli field hospital earns accolades as only aid mission able to do complex surgery in devastated country. CNN reports other missions transfer patients to Israeli base. ABC reports on young woman giving birth there. Yediot Ahronot reports.

Israeli rescuers to stay in Haiti for another month - Haaretz - Israel News

The Israeli rescue crew dispatched to Haiti will remain on the earthquake-stricken Caribbean island for at least another month to oversee a field hospital it set up after the disaster struck there last week, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Tuesday. More from Haaretz

Sci-Tech Today | Pro-Palestinian Group Hacks Jewish Paper's Site

Pro-Palestinian Group Hacks Jewish Paper's Site
By Adam Dickter
January 18, 2010 2:51PM

Pro-Palestinian hackers managed to deface the web site of The Jewish Chronicle in London, but didn't make it into the newspaper's file system. The cyberattack apparently protested Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Chronicle said the attackers defaced a virtual file system that was cleared by rebooting. The attackers may be based in Turkey. more. . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

IDF Field Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Jan. 18

Special Israeline Edition from NY Consulate on aid to Haiti


As news of the earthquake in Haiti started to emerge, the Israeli government immediately began to make plans to send a delegation to aid in the relief efforts.

"Our decision to immediately dispatch a large delegation of doctors, nurses, medics, rescue forces as well as drugs and medical equipment to Haiti expresses the deep values which have characterized the Jewish people and the State of Israel throughout history," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

On Friday, two Israeli jets carrying nearly 10 tons of medical equipment, doctors, nurses, medics, police forces and an elite search and rescue team landed in Haiti. The 220-person delegation is led by Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh (Res.), the commander of the Home Front Command's National Search and Rescue Unit.

Thus far, the Israeli search and rescue units have rescued 70 people from beneath the rubble.

In addition to deploying search and rescue units to find survivors, Israel established a field hospital that includes 40 doctors, 24 nurses, medics, paramedics, x-ray equipment and personnel, a pharmacy, an emergency room, two surgery rooms, an incubation ward, a children's ward, a maternity ward, and more. The field hospital is capable of treating nearly 500 victims per day and performing initial surgeries.

The IDF's chief medical officer, Brig. Gen. Nachman Esh, said that while the field hospital will largely treat trauma patients, similar to those encountered in a war, specialists in various other fields have also been sent.

"We expect to have to deal mainly with trauma cases, but when we arrive there, we also expect to encounter the secondary wave of infections and diseases, as well as the routine cases that the local hospitals would usually deal with," Brig. Gen. Esh said.
  • To see a special report on CNN about the Israeli Field Hospital, click here.
  • To see how the Israeli Field Hospital saved the lives of a newborn baby and its mother, watch this ABC Special.
  • To view the latest directly from the Israeli delegation in Haiti, click here.
We wish the people of Haiti a fast recovery.
May they know pain no more.
Consulate of Israel

IDF Field Hospital in Haiti: Video

121-member IDF medical and rescue team saves Haitian government worker

Jan. 18, 2010
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich , THE JERUSALEM POST
Among the chaos and lack of law and order in Haiti since the earthquake that may have killed hundreds of thousands of people, the IDF medical and rescue team has seen a few points of light.

Not long after their arrival in Port-au-Prince, the team members saved the life of a customs clerk who was trapped in his office for 125 hours by debris, and then treated him in the Israeli field hospital - by far the largest, most equipped and best organized in the country.

It was the 121-member IDF team's first rescue since its arrival and establishment of the field hospital on Shabbat. More than 100 survivors have been treated, with three in 10 in serious condition and 50 percent moderately injured. Children comprise more than half of the injured, most with limb injuries and bone fractures. Nearly a dozen lifesaving operations have been performed.

The field hospital, said its commander Col. Dr. Itzik Kreis, "is currently the most significant medical center in the area struck by the earthquake."

On Sunday morning, the parents of a baby born in the field hospital named him Israel. It was an ordinary delivery, and there are two more women about to deliver there.

Deputy hospital director Dr. Carmi Bar-Tal, a Beer Sheba physician in charge of triage and hospitalization who as a civilian works in Soroka University Medical Center's internal medicine department, told health reporters in a conference call: "The most serious patients - both wounded in the quake and sick - arrived from clinics run by the Americans, Russians and other groups who cannot handle these most serious cases."

Bar-Tal said the huge hospital operates in a well-guarded, fenced soccer stadium in the center of Port-au-Prince. There are open fractures, crush injuries and other orthopedic problems.

"Some limbs had to be amputated. There are battles in the streets over food and water, with people waiting outside. We opened a community clinic near the fence so patients who needed to be bandaged would not have to be admitted to the hospital," he said.

The deputy director said the hospital was completely full. "We discharge patients but don't know what awaits them afterwards. At least we gave them a chance to live. Some, such as a man paralyzed with a spinal injury, could not be admitted because doctors knew they could not help him."

The staff members are well taken care of and
lack for nothing. They share the food brought in from Israel with patients and their relatives.

The Israeli rescuers have been well received by the Haitians. TV cameramen photographed survivors applauding and singing next to the IDF search and rescue team after they pulled someone out of a collapsed building. They were singing a refrain of "Good job, Israel."

At first they didn't know who we are. They thought Americans or Canadians. They were surprised to hear we are Israelis, but now they identify us. The most obvious thing is that they are very sad; You can see it in their eyes. They are not hysterical but resigned," said Bar-Tal.

Meanwhile, ZAKA - Israel's experts in extricating survivors and the dead - reported that its team members have been begged by desperate people to extricate their loved ones, after being dispatched to save people at one location and being unable to stop to give children water, because if they gave one bottle, they'd be surrounded and unable to go where most needed. They reported that the US forces have taken control and give ZAKA instructions on where to go, with an armed UN jeep as their escort.

Several Israeli medical centers are represented by doctors, nurses and other professionals in Haiti. One is Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek, which recently launched a major project to develop the Dr. Jack Matloff Family Disaster and Emergency Response Center. This project will create a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management center and is designed to serve as an urgent care facility for mass casualty incidents and an training center for medical professionals and first-aid responders.

"The fact that four of our senior medical professionals have been chosen for this mission in Haiti is an important indicator of the central role played by Shaare Zedek in the realm of emergency management," said hospital director-general Prof. Jonathan Halevy. "We wish them all the greatest of success in this mission and look forward to their safe return as soon as possible."

Magen David Adom coordinator Dudi Abadi said that the earthquake appears to be one of the largest humanitarian crisis in history. The organization's paramedics left immediately to cooperate with the Federation of the International Red Cross. They arrived via the neighboring Dominican Republic and joined the Norwegian Red Cross team that will set up an additional field hospital.

This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1263147915110&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull