Jewishupdates's Blog

January 11, 2010

PHOTOS: ZAKA Unit Leaves For Mexico Chopper Tragedy – Just 6 Days Before Scheduled Training of New ZAKA Mexico Division

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 4:00 pm

PHOTOS: ZAKA Unit Leaves For Mexico Chopper Tragedy – Just 6 Days Before Scheduled Training of New ZAKA Mexico Division

In a tragic and cruel twist of fate, the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation which was due to fly to Mexico City later this week to begin training 50 local volunteers in rescue and recovery techniques, left Tel Aviv this afternoon to attend to the scene of the helicopter crash in which Mexican Jewish businessman and philanthropist Moises Saba was killed along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law and two others on Sunday night.

The idea to establish a ZAKA International Rescue Unit in Mexico, trained by Israeli ZAKA volunteers, was born out of a ZAKA tribute evening which Moises Saba hosted in his home in November 2008, where guest of honor former US President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker. Saba’s generosity facilitated the establishment and training of the Mexico ZAKA International Rescue Unit.

“Who could have imagined, not just that the Mexican volunteers would need to learn the course content hands-on, in a real incident, but that it would involve the tragic death of the person who initiated and funded the course,” noted head of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit Mati Goldstein as he prepared to board today’s flight to Mexico.

“This tragic incident only serves to highlight the need for locally-based, ZAKA-trained volunteers who can respond immediately and professionally to emergency situations,” adds ZAKA International Rescue Unit Chief Operating Officer Dovie Maisel who also left for Mexico City today, with two other ZAKA volunteers. Rabbi David Yosef, son of former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who was close to Moises Saba, accompanied the ZAKA delegation.

Before leaving for Mexico, the ZAKA delegation met with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who gave his halachic ruling regarding the ZAKA team’s work in collecting body parts at the crash scene. They then met with Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who sent with the delegation a letter to his counterpart in Mexico, requesting to delay the funeral of the victims until the ZAKA team has completed its work in collecting all body parts from the scene of the crash.

Moises Saba has supported ZAKA since its inception, including the donation of two ZAKA ambulances. During the tsunami disaster, in which a Mexican was feared dead, Saba funded the ongoing search for his body until positive identification ensured that his wife of one month would know her husband’s fate.

Click on the following link for photos

(YWN World headquarters – NYC)


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