Jerusalem Day – or Yom Yerushalayim – which commemorates the reunification of Israel’s eternal capital in June 1967, is a special day in our calendars, not just for those living in Israel.
While most of their fellow students were enjoying the school mid-term break, two British teenagers, Avi Levy and Benji Simon, both 17, completed the 90km Sea to Sea (Yam el Yam) trek from Achziv on the Mediterranean Sea to Karei Deshe on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in just three days.
When Guatemala opened its embassy in May in Jerusalem just two days after the US embassy move, it was only natural that ZAKA would be closely involved. ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav joined Guatemalan Foreign Minister Dr. Sandra Hoval, Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel Mrs. Sarah Solis Castaneda and the Rabbi of Guatemala Rabbi Joseph Gramon in affixing the mezuza to the new embassy in the Malha Technological Park in Jerusalem.
When the Fuego volcano erupted in Guatemala in early June, creating devastation and disaster in the local communities, the ZAKA local volunteers were able to provide an immediate light search and rescue response in the first critical days – even before the international teams arrived to help.
In a tribute event for the security, emergency and rescue forces in the Jerusalem District held at Jerusalem City Hall in late May, ZAKA volunteers received a certificate of excellence for their dedication, professionalism, leadership, heroism and personal example during the past year.
ZAKA Search and Rescue was selected as one of four Israeli NGOs to participate in a special session of the UN Committee on NGOs, hosted by Israel’s Mission to the United Nations. The forum, which took place end May, celebrated seventy years of Israeli civil society innovation and their contributions to the world. Ambassador Danny Danon opened the event with celebratory remarks, followed by presentations from four Israeli NGOs that are bettering the world.
About 40 students from Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles packed first aid kits for ZAKA volunteers as part of their recent Bar/Bat Mitzvah tour to Israel. After a short introduction to the work of ZAKA in the Jerusalem headquarters, the students packed essential emergency supplies into the bags to be distributed to ZAKA volunteers in the field
The head of the internationally recognized Israeli search-and-rescue organization ZAKA was attacked by a lioness while on safari in South Africa, but was saved “by the grace of God.”
Following Sunday’s mass shooting attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left at least 26 people dead and 20 wounded, ZAKA, Israel’s premiere search and rescue organization, known as the first on the scene of a terror attack and the last to leave, offered advice should one find themselves in such a dire situation.