Studying at yeshivas in Israel in 2011 during their gap year before they started college, Alex Goldberg and Aharon Watson, graduates of Yeshiva University’s Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, learned about United Hatzalah, an independent, neighborhood-based volunteer emergency medical service that supplements the work of the country’s established Magen David Adom ambulance and blood bank service.
Impressed, they decided to lend a hand.
Actually, their feet.
And many people’s feet.
The students that year set up a fund-raising, 5-kilometer “Race to Save Lives” in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park that raised $250,000, enough for ten motorcycle “ambulances” – the mobile vehicles often can arrive at an emergency scene before larger, standard ambulances.
A 2012 race in Jerusalem was similarly successful.
“I saw the technology, the ambulances, defibrillators and understood that the volunteers are doing their job free of charge,” Goldberg said in a statement. “I was hooked.
Watson, whose family made aliyah in 2009, said “Alex and I decided to do a lot more than just learn in that year.”
They are now studying YU – and now the Race to Save Lives is a New York event.
On a recent Sunday morning, some 350 men and women ran through the streets of Roosevelt Island, shown here, raising $1 million for the cause. Several local day school and college students aided in the volunteer effort.