Ichud Hatzolah volunteer. Crisis
Photo: Ofer Ashtakar

Haredi rescue organizations collapsing

Dwindling donations, internal struggles and competition from Magen David Adom driving Hatzolah groups into the ground

The emergency and rescue organizations, the flagship of the ultra-Orthodox volunteer projects, are rapidly collapsing. The financial crisis, petty struggles between the groups themselves and the impossible competition from Magen David Adom are costing these organizations, based in Jerusalem, dearly.


This week it was reported that Hatzolah Israel, the leading haredi rescue group, has nearly totally crashed after losing the sponsorship of Rabbi Moshe Ifergan (known as "the x-ray rabbi.")


Ichud Hatzolah is also struggling to keep head above water, while ZAKA is constantly losing resources and volunteers.


Meanwhile Magen David Adom has launched an effort to take back the lead in the emergency services arena. This effort included the introduction of a new satellite-based communication system that allows MDA to track the volunteers closest to any emergency scene and summon them quickly.


The organization has also decided to ban its volunteers from working with other recue groups as well.


Officials at Ichud Hatzolah were extremely worried by these new moves, saying that when forced to choose between MDA or a haredi rescue organizations, most volunteers would likely choose to go with MDA. "Their aim is to wipe out the Hatzolah groups," one official claimed.


פרסום ראשון: 03.13.09, 09:02
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