The seeds of the ZAKA organization were sown in 1989, when then-yeshiva student Yehuda Meshi-Zahav and his colleagues rushed to assist at the scene of the 405 bus terror attack, in which 17 people were killed and scores injured. For the next six years, Meshi-Zahav headed a group of volunteers who overcame the horror of terror attacks to recover human remains and ensure a proper burial in accordance with Jewish law.
Today, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav serves as the Chairman of ZAKA and oversees more than 3,000 volunteers in Israel alone. In a letter to ZAKA supporters, Meshi-Zahav writes:;
“ZAKA is part of the consensus in Israel, taking the values of volunteerism into the wider community, building bridges and bringing together people of all religions and backgrounds…Our scriptures tell is that man is made in the divine image, every man- whatever his religion, race or creed…As a voluntary organization, ZAKA’s very existence is based on the support and generosity of friends in Israel and around the world. Your support and generosity will allow the blessed work of ZAKA to continue.”