News and Events

Union City Hatzolah to the Rescue

On Erev Shabbos Vayeilech, October 7th, at approximately 4PM, all traffic entering and exiting the Lincoln Tunnel ground to a halt as the Port Authority Police Department investigated what was later identified as a bomb hoax. The closing of the Lincoln Tunnel created a commuter nightmare, and even more so for the many Passaic residents trying to get home in time for Shabbos. With Shabbos fast approaching, those still in New York City made arrangements to stay there for Shabbos. There were many who were stuck on buses in the tunnel and on the Rt.495 Helix, who had nowhere to go. In desperation, many of them called local Rabbonim for advice, and Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS was also called for help. Since there was no time for a trip to the Lincoln Tunnel and return to Passaic before Shabbos, Avi Koplowitz, Hatzolah Coordinator, put in a call to Yanky Askal, Director of Union City (UC) Hatzolah for assistance. He advised Mr. Askal that many were stuck on buses with drivers who would not let them get off, and to prepare for the very high likelihood of hosting stranded travelers in Union City over Shabbos. UC Hatzolah, with assistance from Rabbi Yanky Meyer, Chaplain of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), contacted NJ Transit to ask the drivers to permit passengers to disembark the buses. UC Hatzolah with the cooperation of the PAPD, immediately began sending buses and ambulances to pick up the stranded passengers. Many were brought to Passaic in time for Shabbos with minutes to spare. Many others enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the Union City Kehilla over Shabbos. It is imperative that we recognize the Mesiras Nefesh of Mr. Yanky Askal who together with UC Hatzolah and other dedicated residents of Union City, ensured that most, if not all, were able to enjoy Shabbos in a most meaningful way.

New Executive Director

The Board of Directors and the Rabbinical Board of Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton is pleased to announce the appointment of George Matyjewicz as Executive Director, effective August 1. 2008. George brings with him a wealth of business management experience having served as an executive and as an advisor to many organizations worldwide. He will apply his formidable skills learned in the business world to managing Hatzolah, helping us grow and continue to focus on serving our community. We would like thank the outgoing interim Executive Director, Heshy Cohen, who, at the very beginning, volunteered for the position and gave Hatzolah the management it needed to get off the ground. Heshy will now focus his skills as a valued EMT with Hatzolah. On behalf of the Hatzolah Rabbinical Board, Executive Board, Operations Committee, First Responders and Dispatchers, welcome to the Hatzolah family.

Free Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Screenings!

On July 30, 2008 and in conjunction with Dr. Rozanski’s lecture the day before, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS and the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton offered free cholesterol and blood pressure by appointment only. All results were available on the spot.The screenings were held at Bais Torah Utefila (BTU).

While all available appointments were filled in advance, all who came with or without appointments were accomodated in a timely fashion. Much thanks to Racquel Houpt from the Bikur Cholim for getting everyone in, to the volunteers of Hatzolah and Dr. Jill Butler for providing the blood pressure screenings and to the wonderful staff of Mountainside Hospital for attending the event, providing the cholesterol screenings and staying ovetime to accomodate all who came. Click here for the event flyer.

Many thanks to Dr. Yaacov Weiss, Drs. Rosy Joseph and Zalman Suldan and Dr. Pearl Korenblit for their generous sponsorships.

Hatzolah Attends Lecture from Dr. Joseph Feldman, Chairman of the Hackensack UMC Emergency Medicine Department

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.

Hatzolah Attends Lecture From Dr. Harris Sterman, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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.

Hatzolah Attends Lecture From Dr. Ruth Borgen, Director of the Pediatric Emergency Room at Hackensack University Medical Center

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.

Hatzolah visits Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic Pre-School

On Friday November 8, Hatzolah visited the Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic’s Pre-School division to help the kinderlach learn about the letter “Hey.” The children, accompanied by their Morahs, came out and received a grand tour of the brand new ambulance (P-02). On hand from Hatzolah were Rabbi Moshe Perlmutter and Moshe Raider. The members took the opportunity to provide some safety tips including Chanukah Safety in addition to displaying the various equipment Hatzolah uses to help patients. The children got to see a real Hatzolah call during the demonstration, when there was a motor vehicle accident right in front of the school. Boruch Hashem, no one was hurt.

Hatzolah EMT Moshe Stareshefsky Receives Citation of Appreciation from the City of Passaic

On November 12th, 2013, Hatzolah EMT Moshe Stareshefsky was presented with an award by the Mayor, Dr. Alex Blanco and the City Council of Passaic for his actions at a motor vehicle accident on the night of October 6th, 2013.

When Moshe arrived on scene, he encountered a 2 car accident with one of the cars on fire and a person trapped inside. He quickly took a fire extinguisher from an bystander and knocked down the flames enough to allow for him and 2 police officers to remove the patient from the car.

Moshe accepted this award, and during the public portion of the council meeting, thanked the Mayor and Council for this citation. He also thanked all the members of Hatzolah and Passaic’s emergency services that responded to the call, and accepted the award for the collective actions of all involved that night.

Fifth Annual Passaic – Clifton Community Wide Health and Safety Fair

On Sunday, April 21, hundreds of community members came to the Bnos Bracha campus for the 5th Annual Health and Safety Fair. This year, the fair was co-hosted by Hatzolah, Bikur Cholim and JFS. Many fair attendees benefitted from the various health screenings (including dental, orthodontic, vision, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and more), and the very informative booths on all sorts of health and safety related topics. This year’s fair included a special section related to special needs. While enjoying a tour of the Hatzolah ambulance parked outside the hall, hundreds of children learned about safety while travelling in a car, riding a bike and more. The Dube Zone outside gave many children an opportunity to play a variety of sport games while getting exercise and learning about teamwork.

Rav Aaron Cohen Delivers a Shiur on Hilchos Shabbos

Rav Aaron Cohen of Tifereth Israel, a member of the Rabbinical Committee of Hatzolah gave a Shiur on Hilchos Shabbos to the members on Motzei Shabbos Parshas Achrei-Kedoshim, April 20 2013. Hatzolah has ongoing Shiurim and classes to keep the members up to date on Halacha and medical knowledge.

Hatzolah Participates in the Massive Siyum Hashas on August 1, 2012

Alongside hundreds of other Hatzolah volunteers from across the tri-state area, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS played a pivotal role in the health and well being of the 90,000 plus attendees of the Daf Hayomi Siyum Hashas at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford. Below are some photos that were sent to Hatzolah. More photos will be added when received.

June 2011 Community Appeal for Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS

Over two Shabbosim at the end of June, the community’s Rabbonim appealed to their respective congregations to support Hatzolah in meeting it’s annual budget. Hatzolah’s annual budget is approximately $100,000, of which 100% goes to operating expenses. There are no salaries and never has Hatzolah billed anyone for services provided. A follow up letter was mailed out to the community, reaching mailboxes this past Friday and Shabbos. Each family in the community is requested to join the Life Support program which will be used to cover the costs of operating Hatzolah. Hatzolah responds to over 500 calls a year with more than 300 requiring emergency transport to the Emergency Room.

As the summer travel season is now upon us, Hatzolah included in the mailing a Tefilas Haderech sticker, sponsored by Majestic Leasing and Louis B. Chapman, Attorney at Law – (973) 696-9600. The sticker included Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS’ emergency phone number as well as the phone numbers of surrounding Hatzolah organizations. Phone stickers were also included.

If you need more of either sticker for a second car or additional phones, please contact Hatzolah’s office at 973-685-4911 or by emailing

Update from Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS – June 2011

The Board of Directors and the Rabbinical Board of Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS would like to announce the following changes:

Dr. Natie Liebster has assumed role of President, replacing Founding Chairman Izzy Fogel. Izzy and his wife Blima have moved to Israel. Please continue to daven for Izzy who is in need of a Refuah (Alter Yisroel ben Chaya Rochel). In addition Marty Lovy has assumed the responsibilities of Vice President/Treasurer, while Moshe Zahler continues as secretary of the organization.

We would also like to welcome Yitzchak Buchen as the new Executive Director. Among Yitzchak’s other chesed endeavors, he is well known for his annual Yom Kippur appeal which raises much needed funds for other worthy organizations in the community.

Much appreciation is due to the outgoing Executive Director, George Matyjewicz for his almost three years of service. George worked on numerous fundraisers, events and utilized his extensive business management experience for the benefit of Hatzolah and the community.

We are also pleased to announce that Eli Radinsky has joined the Board of Directors. Eli is replacing founding Board Member, Dr. Elliot Samet. Eli is a member of Tifereth Israel and brings along a wealth of finance experience.

We would like to thank Dr. Samet for his three plus years of service on the Board and for his continuing dedication to Hatzolah.

Fourth Annual Passaic – Clifton Community Wide Health and Safety Fair – June 19, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS and the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton once again hosted a Health and Safety Fair
for the community. For a full report, photos and video click here.

Hatzolah visits YBH of Passaic

Hatzolah visited the YBH of Passaic’s Pre-School division to help the kinderlach learn about the letter “Hey.” The children, accompanied by their Morahs, came out and received a grand tour of the ambulance (P-01) . On hand from Hatzolah were Heshy Cohen, Moshe Raider and David Schlachter. The members took the opportunity to provide some safety tips to the children and the children presented the money they collected over the last year for Hatzolah to the members. Tizku Lemitzvos!

Upcoming Fourth Annual Hatzolah and Bikur Cholim Health and Safety Fair

Don’t miss the 4th Annual Health and Safety Fair proudly brought to you by The Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton and the Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS. It will be loads of fun rain or shine on June 19th, 2011 from 1-5PM at Bnos Bracha Girls School – 181 Pennington Ave in Passaic. We will provide many free health screenings including: blood pressure, glucose, vision, hearing, dental and orthodontic screenings. There will be a plethora of health care professionals in various fields of specialty available to meet and discuss health related concerns with participants. Over 30 health and safety related booths will showcase information and many will have interactive activities and give-aways . We have an intriguing and informative line-up of workshops on topics ranging from advances in skin care and protection to healthy cooking. There will be emergency vehicles such as an ambulance, police car and fire truck for the kids to explore and of course tons of balloons, two magic shows and an acrobatics show just to live up to our reputation of providing a fun filled family experience. Visit the fair website and take a look at pictures from the last three years at
See you at the fair!

Members and Dispatchers Attend CPR Class
As part of Hatzolah’s Continuing Education/Training, all our Members and some Dispatchers recently completed a CPR class which included the new American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines, which were revised in late 2010. To keep the Instructor to Student ratio down, the same class was taught on two consecutive Nights with alternating halves of the Hatzolah Membership in attendance. We thank our very own David Blumenthal (P-12) who is a Certified AHA Instructor, for teaching the course. In the coming Months, Hatzolah intends to offer a CPR class for the Passaic/Clifton Community. Please contact our office (non-emergency) at 973-685-4911 for Sponsorship Opportunities.

A Second Ambulance Is Put Into Service!

On August 5, 2008 a second ambulance (known as P-02) was put into service. This ambulance is a very much needed addition which will ensure that the community of Passaic and Clifton will always have an ambulance available when the need CH”V arises as there are often simultaneous calls being handled by Hatzolah. This addition also allows Hatzolah to provide some much needed service to the heavily used P-01. As not every ambulance is exactly the same, it is important that all members are familiar with the location and function of the equipment stored on it. Below are photos of both ambulances and the members attending an orientation session at Yeshiva M’Kor Boruch.

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS Participates in NCSY Toronto Shabbaton

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS was proud to participate in NCSY of Toronto’s Annual Shabbaton in Erie, Pennsylvania over the weekend of May 16 – May 19, 2008 – Parshas Bhar. Two Hatzolah members were on premises throughout the entire weekend. Hatzolah members provided immediate first aid and response during medical emergencies and transferred care when neccesary to local EMS in Erie PA.

First Passaic – Clifton Community Wide Health and Safety Fair

On Sunday, May 18, 2008, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS in conjunction with the Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton hosted a community wide Health and Safety Fair. The fair was be an exciting oppurtunity for community members of all ages to learn about health and safety. There were many booths and demonstrations for all participants, car seat safety inspections, glucose, dental, blood pressure and vision screenings. (Event website). Pictures of the event have been uploaded to the event website. Click hereto go directly to the photos.

April 2008 – Pre-Pesach Awareness Campaign

On Erev Shabbos Parshas Metzora, April 11, 2008, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS distributed over 2000 keychains, stickers, a memo from the Board of Directors and a flyer for the upcoming Health and Safety Fair to all school children in Passaic and Clifton. Many Hatzolah dispatchers and members worked alongside community members to put together the packages.

First International Hatzolah Convention

Over the weekend of Parshas Shmini, March 27, 2008, Hatzolah volunteers gathered for the first Hatzolah International Convention in Long Branch, New Jersey. Hatzolah volunteers from all over the world, including Israel, Europe, Australia, and of course from the New York Tri State area attended this three day convention. Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS was proud to be part of this historic event.


Photo Sets

Miscellaneous: click Here

Shiurim: click Here

Ambulances: click Here

Continuing Education: click Here

Membership Meetings: click Here

Hatzolah Visits to Schools and Camps: click Here

Hatzolah Visits Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic: click Here

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