update deskU.S. News

At New York gala, attendees raise $11 million for work of United Hatzalah

“We work to save everyone, which is what United Hatzalah is all about,” said Israeli Muslim volunteer Nazir Aweida.

Robert Kraft serves as keynote speaker at the United Hatzalah gala in New York, attended by 1,500 people, on June 6, 2023. Photo by Eli Weintraub.
Robert Kraft serves as keynote speaker at the United Hatzalah gala in New York, attended by 1,500 people, on June 6, 2023. Photo by Eli Weintraub.

More than 1,500 people gathered at Cipriani Wall Street on June 6 in support of United Hatzalah of Israel, the world’s largest fully volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) organization.

Keynote speaker Robert Kraft, CEO and chairman of the Kraft Group, as well as founder of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, was joined by members of the Jewish community to support United Hatzalah’s life-saving mission and to fight antisemitism around the world.

The attendees raised $11 million for the organization. Throughout the night, supporters made contributions that will go directly towards helping nearly 7,000 volunteers in Israel who respond at an average of 90 seconds to medical crises to treat the injured and ill for free, regardless of faith, age, gender or ethnicity.

The longtime owner of the New England Patriots, Kraft has been a supporter of United Hatzalah for years. He was introduced on stage by gala chair David Blitzer, private equity investor and sports team owner.

The event also honored two Israeli couples who serve as first responders: Karima and Nazir Aweida, who are Muslim; and Dovi and Batya Widawsky, who are Jewish.

Israeli Muslim volunteer Nazir Aweida said: “A life is a life. We work to help everyone in Israel, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze. I am proud to know that my fellow volunteers feel the same way. We are one organization. All life has value. We work to save everyone, which is what United Hatzalah is all about.”

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