On Sunday, June 6, 2010, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS and the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton once again hosted a Health and Safety Fair for the community. Crowd estimates ranged from 1500-2000 attendees. Attendees were able to browse more than 30 booths relating to their personal health and safety. Many health screenings were provided free of charge, such as vision, glucose, dental, scoliosis, blood pressure and more. There were even booths dealing with computer/internet safety! Children received balloons and everyone was able to enjoy free healthy snacks- bottled water, fresh fruit and hot popcorn. For a full report and photos, click here.

Pharmacalogy Class Given by Hackensack University Medical Center

On Thursday April 29th, the Members of Hatzolah had a continuing education class on Pharmacology presented by a Paramedic from Hackensack University Medical Center.

The goal of the class was to help our emergency responders better identify a patient’s medical history based upon their currently prescribed medications which in turn, would likely create a better understanding of presenting symptoms during an emergency call for help. The class presenter reviewed a myriad list of Prescription Medications and their associated uses. The class was very well received and appreciated by the Hatzolah membership.

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton would like to thank Mr. Glenn MacDonald of Hackensack University Medical Center for arranging this particular class at no cost to Hatzolah. Hatzolah would also like to thank Mr. Breyer of Kosher Konnection for donating refreshments for the class.

With the recent changes to the State of NJ EMT Training Fund, many of our Continuing Education Classes will no longer be covered by the State. Please visit www.hatzolahpassaic.net/support.html to donate online or call our office at 973-685-4911 to help fund future training classes. Dedication opportunities are available for classes to be sponsored in Honor/Memory or L’Refuah Sheleima of a loved one.

Health and Safety Fair Pictures Photos by Gordi Studio.

For the 4th consecutive year, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton and the Bikur Cholim of Passaic- Clifton, can truly be proud of the community wide health and safety fair that they have partnered together to organize and present.

This past Sunday, June 19th 2011, over a thousand men, women and children gathered at the Bnos Bracha High School to enjoy the annual fair that has become an eagerly anticipated event and one that is synonymous with both education and fun.

A large variety of free health screenings were offered, and adults and children of all ages took advantage of the opportunity to interface with health professionals and engage in meaningful exchanges about health related issues. The atmosphere was festive as participants opened eyes and mouths wide to receive vision and dental screenings while holding on tightly to their balloons! (Thank you Drs. Horwitz, Grunstein and Stern!) Many safety experts were also available to discuss all sorts of safety related issues from home security systems (EMS security systems) to tips for effective pest control. The Avrahami brothers from Yosef Avrahami Contracting even brought some real mice to drive home the point and engage curious children! The City of Passaic brought an interactive germ machine that enabled individuals to learn more about the germs on their own hands, while other presenters focused on promoting healthier lifestyles through healthy eating. Health coach, Yaakov Rosenthal, had a wonderful visual aid to help illustrate just how much sugar is contained in the drinks so many of us enjoy regularly. Personal chef, Leslie Morrison also contributed to raising awareness about health and nutrition, and offered up a lively demonstration of how to create a delicious looking summer salad filled with “super foods”. And the list goes on and on. Mental health providers joining the fair to help raise awareness about mental health issues in our community and encouraging folks to get the help they need. Dermatologists providing information about updates in skin care (thank you Dr. Whitworth for a wonderful and informative presentation) and attorneys educating consumers about their rights for children with disabilities or specific health concerns (thank you Stephen Schwartz).

Of course, a Hatzolah ambulance, as well as a Passaic fire engine and vehicles from both the Passaic County Sherriff and the Passaic police department were on hand for participants to tour and learn about, and the service men were delighted to answer questions and share information about their crucial jobs. Magician Ben Cohen and twin acrobatic super-stars aka The Twins From France helped to make the event even more entertaining and memorable and dazzled young and old alike. Thanks so much to all of the dedicated volunteers from Bikur Cholim and Hatzolah who made this event possible. Thanks to all of the fair’s corporate sponsors for partnering with these wonderful organizations to bring quality programming to our community. And thanks to the entire Passaic-Clifton Kehillah for coming out to share in the festivities!


Health and Safety Fair Pictures Set 1 – Photos by Moshe Raider

Health and Safety Fair Pictures Set 2 – Photos by Yossi Weintraub

Health and Safety Fair Pictures Set 2 – Photos by Pinchas King

On Sunday June 6th, the halls and outdoor courtyards of the B’nos Bracha Girls Division of Yeshiva K’tana, were filled with exuberant adults and children of all ages, eagerly gathered for The 3rd Annual Community Wide Health and Safety Fair, co-hosted by the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton and Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton. Once again, the fair was a smashing success, and drew crowds estimated at 2,000 strong.

Once again, there were a large selection of free health screenings and opportunities to speak with health professionals in various fields of specialty. The fair showcased more than 40 exciting and informative booths, filled with information about every aspect of health and safety you could imagine. There were vendors with expert advice about: vitamins, treatment for addictions, car safety , CPR course offerings, home security systems, weight loss and nutrition, cleaning products, fire prevention, neuro-feedback, senior services, and on and on and on. It was all there – under one roof –and all free of charge!

Hundreds of free blood pressure, diabetes, vision, depression, hearing, dental, scoliosis, and body mass index screenings were performed by friendly professionals. Shiny and colorful Hatzolah ambulances, police cars, a fire truck, and vehicles from the Passaic county Sherriff’s Department beckoned to the young and young at heart to explore and touch. Free workshops were offered to create health and safety related crafts for kids, and to sample and discuss healthy food options. Over two hundred bicycle helmets in different colors and sizes, were sold by Hatzolah at a very low, sponsor subsidized price. Over one hundred people swabbed their cheeks in hopes of being a match in the fair’s bone marrow drive performed in conjunction with the organization aptly called Gift of Life.

But that wasn’t all! Balloons danced gracefully through the air in every corner and were distributed to enthralled children who happily munched on complementary fresh popcorn and refreshing slushies as they were captivated by magic shows, puppet shows, and a plethora of free give aways including gift cards to local merchants, key chains, magnets, stress relief balls, smoke-detectors, portraits for child safety IDs and even a few free bicycles!

The fair was both an extremely fun and educational event and made a perfect Sunday outing for families, adults, and kids of all ages.

On Motzei Shabbos Parshas Beshalach – Shirah, a large gathering of Passaic-Clifton residents attended the first Hatzolah of Passaic / Clifton Melava Malka. The Melava Malka took place at Congregation Adas Israel on Broadway. Additional pictures will be uploaded in the next few days.

Below (left) is the video that was shown at this years annual Melava Malka. You browser will need to be able to play divx video in order to watch the video. On the right is a slideshow of pictures taken at the Melava Malka.

Watch the video on You Tube here.

The night was abuzz with excitement and achdus. Virtually every shul, yeshiva, and Jewish community organization attended the melave malka.In addition to all attendees, it is important to thank the Rosh HaYeshiva, HaRav Meir Stern Shlita for taking the time from his busy schedule to show his support for the community’s Hatzolah. Rabbi Mordechai Fishman, the Menahel of the Passaic/Clifton Community Kollel, noted that the Rosh HaYeshiva made a special effort to attend. Other Rabbonim in attendance included: Rav Aaron Cohen, Rav Ron Yitzchak Eisenman, Rav Solomon Ryback, Rav Yonason Sacks, Rav Menachem Spira, Rav Daniel Schwab, Rav Shachne Weinberger and Rav Menachem Zupnik. State Assemblyman and City Council President Gary Schaer, City Councilman Chaim Munk and City Councilman Daniel Schwartz were also present. Representatives from other Hatzolahs in New Jersey also attended. Special kudos to the members of Union County ( Elizabeth ) Hatzalah for providing coverage so local Hatzolah members would be able to enjoy the Melava Malka. Many people made sure to drop in, say hello and give a donation, despite other events.

George Matyjewicz, Executive Director of Hatzolah served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. He began the evening with a slide presentation demonstrating how Hatzolah began in the 1960s through the determination of Rabbi Hershel Weber and how the idea spread throughout the world, including Passaic and Clifton . Mr. Matyjewicz went through the statistics of Hatzolah calls during the past year. He described Hatzolah’s budgetary needs, amply illustrating why Hatzolah dearly needs the community’s financial support.

Mr. Izzy Fogel introduced the guest of honor, Rabbi Hershel Weber. In his introduction, Mr. Fogel drew on distant memories to when Rabbi Weber took the initiative to get Hatzolah in Williamsburg off the ground. Mr. Fogel was a staunch supporter of Rabbi Weber then – even acquiring the very first Hatzolah ambulance for the fledgling organization back in the early 1970s. His support for Hatzolah continues to this very day as he serves as Chairman of the Board of Hatzolah of Passaic / Clifton .

Rabbi Weber began his keynote address by calling Mr. Fogel back to the podium and giving him a heartfelt bracha, after asking everyone to answer Amein. After the bracha, Rabbi Weber described what it means to be a Hatzolah member and the sacrifices members and their families make on behalf of the klal. As Rabbi Weber eloquently said, without the support of each Aishes Chayil, Hatzolah would not be able to do its work. With Divrei Torah and Maamrei Chazal Rabbi Weber entreated everyone to throw their support behind Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton. It was a heartfelt and emotional speech.

After more zemiros, Mr. Avi Koplowitz, Hatzolah Coordinator, presented a token of appreciation to the wives of Hatzolah’s 21 first responders, the wives of the men who dispatch and to the women who dispatch. The women who allow their husbands to respond to, and dispatch, medical emergencies which can take place at anytime of the day or night, on Shabbos and on Yom Tov, are truly the unsung heroes of Hatzolah. At the conclusion of Mr. Koplowitz’s presentation, Dovid Gabay sang Aishes Chayil in honor of the women of Hatzolah.

Mr. Izzy Fogel then presented a beautiful plaque to Mr. and Mrs. Heshy Cohen. Mr. Cohen was Hatzolah’s first Executive Director, a position that he volunteered for with his wife’s support, and was the driving force behind getting the community’s Hatzolah started. It was because of his efforts that the Board of Directors chose to present this award to Mr. and Mrs. Cohen.

Rav Aaron Cohen, Rav of Tifereth Israel , and a member of Hatzolah’s Rabbinical Board entreated the attendees to become Shutfim – Partners in the Talmudic dictum of “Kol HaMikayem Nefesh Achas MeYisrael, KeIlu Kiyum Olam Malei.”

A moving video presentation especially prepared for the evening was shown. The video provided the perspectives of both patients and Rabbonim regarding the services that Hatzolah provides. The video included interviews with members of Hatzolah and even one Hatzolah wife.

Dovid Gabay, along with the musical accompaniment of Yossi Newman’s One Man Band, provided a beautiful musical feature to the evening as well.

The event was catered by Daniel Strimber of The Main Ingredient. Mr. Strimber and his staff truly provided a delicious Melava Malka to those attending.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Landy called it, “… a tremendously inspiring event. The large turnout… their enthusiasm was felt throughout the room and throughout the evening, and it was a great thing to be a part of.”

How big was the crowd? To put it in perspective, at Hatzolah’s first major event, collaborating with Bikur Cholim on a Health and Safety Fair last year, attendees said it was the best-attended program in the history of the Passaic/Clifton Jewish community. The organizers of the Melave Malka managed to still beat expectations, and set the bar higher in community-wide event planning.

Some attendees were surprised at the impact of Hatzolah. “I learned… about how fast their response were, and that they are quicker than 911,” said Daniel Trief, a local lawyer. “Although I knew they were good, I didn’t know they were that efficient.” Mr. Trief was referring to Hatzolah’s response time of less than two minutes, mentioned in Mr. Matyjewicz’s presentation. Dan’s wife Zeldie, was also surprised at how the organization runs. “I’m impressed by the whole event. I didn’t know it was all volunteer, and they don’t get paid. Wow, it’s amazing.” Mr. Trief added, “Hatzolah is one of these things that you take for granted, you don’t really think too much about them. You don’t think about making out a check to them, and you don’t really realize that they need funds too. The fact that they reached out to the community like that to let them know that they needed funds is going to greatly enhance them as well as the community.”

What does this event demonstrate about the relationship between Hatzolah and the community? The organization is now about 16 months old and the level of community participation demonstrates that the yidden of Passaic and Clifton , as a community, completely support Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton, and desire it to be successful. It was truly an evening of achdus and support for the community’s Hatzolah.


On Wednesday, May 30, Dr. Joseph Feldman, Chairman of the Hackensack University Medical Center Emergency Medicine Department, presented a class on Strokes to the members of Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS.

Also discussed was the upcoming Emergency and Trauma Center’s expansion project which will change the layout and footprint of the Emergency Department and what the short term and long term affect on patient care will be. The new Emergency Room setup will have specialty care areas for cardiac, cancer, geriatrics and trauma patients.

On behalf of Hatzolah and the community, Hatzolah Coordinator Neal Frohlich took this opportunity to present a token of appreciation to to Dr. Feldman and HUMC for the outstanding care being provided.

The members enjoyed a delicious buffet Chinese dinner sponsored by Dovid Lisker of 8th Day Caterers.

On Wednesday, March 21, Hatzolah of Passaic / Clifton EMS members were privileged to attend a lecture in Tifereth Israel on soft tissue injuries given by Dr. Harris Sterman. Dr. Sterman is based in Teaneck, NJ and has been featured in many publications, including New Jersey Top Doctors and America’s Cosmetic Doctors and Dentists.

Dr. Stermans lecture focused on different soft tissue injuries including lacerations and burns and the treatment for each. Dr. Sterman has always been available to treat patients that require a Plastic Surgeon. Hatzolah thanks Dr. Sterman for his ongoing commitment to the community and for making time for this lecture. The members enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner as well.

On Wednesday, January 18, Hatzolah was privileged to attend a lecture from Dr. Ruth Borgen. Dr. Borgen is Director of the Pediatric Emergency Room at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Dr. Borgen lectured on the causes and treatment for common Pediatric calls we respond to, such as Croup Attacks and Febrile Seizures. These usually end up having an excellent outcome.

As the Passaic/Clifton community is B-H blessed with many children, a high percentage of calls that Hatzolah responds to is for Pediatric Emergencies, lo aleinu. Most hospital transports go to Hackensack and Dr. Borgen is a familiar face in the Pediatric Emergency Room to the members of Hatzolah.

Hatzolah members also had the opportunity to ask Dr. Borgen questions on related medical topics.

In attendance as well was Dr. Michael Rosen, who in addition to being Hatzolahs medical director, is also the Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Much thanks to our gracious host, Tifereth Israel for enabling this and other lectures to be presented in their ballroom.

Kisleiv 5772 /December 2011 Chanukah Safety Initiative
It is, however, important to ensure the safety of your family and avoid fire hazards when lighting your menorah.

Choose a menorah that’s sturdy and made of fire-safe materials.
Clear the table from all flammable materials like papers and plastic items where you put your menorah.
Never put your menorah in closed areas like spaces between cabinets or bookshelves.
If you are to display your menorah in your window, make sure that your curtains are not too close to the candle’s flames.
Never leave lit candles unattended.
Do not let children or pets play around the area where the menorah is placed.
Always keep a fire extinguisher in your home for emergency use.
Know where your fire extinguisher is located! WATER WILL NOT PUT OUT AN OIL FIRE.
On a recent Chanukah, a member of Hatzolah and his family were extremely lucky. He used PRE-FILLED PLASTIC CUPS which caught fire during the night. His Menorah was destroyed and the porch where the Menorah was located was full of soot when the family woke up in the morning. It could have been much worse. Lessons learned: Do not use pre-filled plastic cups and never leave a lit Menorah unattended. Click here to see the poster.

In case of fire, CALL 911 and Hatzolah IMMEDIATELY!
Hatzolah Members Meet With Passaic City Councilmen
On Tuesday, December 13, Hatzolah of Passaic / Clifton EMS members were addressed by City Council President and Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Councilman Chaim Munk and Councilman Daniel Schwartz. The Councilmen expressed their appreciation for the vital work that Hatzolah does for the community and also discussed ways to enhance Hatzolah’s ongoing relationship with the other emergency agencies in Passaic, including the Police Department, Fire Department and EMS.

After each Councilman addressed the members, the members were given the opportunity to ask questions.

Hatzolah is committed to building and maintaining a positive and meaningful relationship with the emergency agencies in Passaic and this meeting strengthened the resolve to continue to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Passaic.

On Sunday, June 7, 2009, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS and the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton once again hosted a Health and Safety Fair for the community.

Crowd estimates ranged from 1500-2000 attendees. Attendees were able to browse more than 30 booths relating to their personal health and safety. Many health screenings were provided free of charge, such as vision, glucose, dental, scoliosis, blood pressure and more. There were even booths dealing with computer/internet safety! Children received balloons and everyone was able to enjoy free healthy snacks- bottled water, fresh fruit and hot popcorn.

Many community doctors as well as representatives from area hospitals attended the fair and afforded participants valuable opportunities to chat informally with them and to discuss miscellaneous health questions and concerns.

Presentations were given on choking prevention, first aid, music and movement for children and other important topics. Torah Tots and a juggler/cyclist/man on stilts provided lively entertainment for the children.

Aside from all of the colorful balloons and the opportunity to collect many giveaways (in bags provided by Kosher Konnection), the fair had a more serious side as well. Dr. Robert Grunstein was hard at work in his dental rescue mobile, providing over 300 dental screenings for local kids – many of whom have no dental insurance and had never before seen a dentist! Florey Cruz-Cerpa from Mountainside Hospital, who conducted the glucose screenings, reported that several individuals tested had dangerously high glucose levels and at least 2 people were directed straight to the Emergency Room for follow-up. Dr.Yosi Fishkin, the ophthalmologist who provided free vision screens, alerted several participants about vision impairments that needed attention, and was even able to save the day by extracting a piece of hazardous debris from a little girl’s eye!

And this is just what was going on inside Bnos Bracha! Outside the building was another dimension of the Fair. Numerous emergency vehicles, including two Hatzolah ambulances, a fire engine, police cars, Passaic County bomb squad, and the Passaic County canine unit were available for touring. This provided the children of the community an opportunity to learn about the vehicles and the departments that operate them in a friendly atmosphere and receive many safety tips from the personnel manning them.

Additionally, the Passaic Police Department provided car seat checking, in which certified inspectors went over each and every car seat and made sure it was safe and secure.

Highlighting the event was Assemblyman / Passaic City Council President Gary Schaer presenting Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS and Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton with a NJ State Assembly Proclamation thanking the two organizations for all they do for the community.

During the last hour of the event, members of Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS were joined by numerous members of Lakewood Hatzalah and their rescue truck as they once again demonstrated to a crowd of over 500 people how a crash victim would be extricated from a wrecked car, lo aleinu.

We thank all of the volunteers from both organizations, the event sponsors, the presenters, all the various local and county officials and most of all the attendees for making this a truly momentous event for the Passaic-Clifton Jewish Community.

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