United Hatzalah volunteer to light torch on Independence Day

Dr. Tamar Schlezinger is being honored for her work on Oct. 7 when she stayed on the phone with two children for 12 hours after their parents' murder.

Dr. Tamar Schlezinger. Photo by Yaron Brener.
Dr. Tamar Schlezinger. Photo by Yaron Brener.

United Hatzalah is proud to congratulate Dr. Tamar Schlezinger, a dedicated volunteer of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, who has been chosen to light a torch at Israel’s central Independence Day ceremony next week.

On Oct. 7, United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center alerted Schlezinger regarding a young boy who had witnessed the murder of his parents and was in urgent need of assistance. Schlezinger immediately reached out and learned that the boy, 9-year-old Michael, was hiding in a closet with his 6-year-old sister Amalia, following the murder of their parents and the kidnapping of their little sister, Avigayil.

For 12 hours that felt like an eternity, Schlezinger provided support to the courageous children on the phone, offering comfort and guidance until the knocks on the door of the soldiers who rescued them.

Eli Beer, president of United Hatzalah, remarked, “This stands as one of the proudest moments for me since the organization’s inception. Dr. Schlezinger epitomizes the extraordinary dedication of our 7,000 volunteers, many of whom risked their lives to save others on that harrowing morning of October 7, amidst the bloodshed in southern Israel and the Gaza border area. They remained committed to their mission until every last wounded individual was transported to the hospital.

Dr. Tamar Schlezinger. Source: YouTube.

“Dr. Schlezinger did the unimaginable with dedication and professionalism over those 12 arduous hours until nine-year-old Michael and his six-year-old sister Amalia were rescued from their hiding place,” Beer said. “In the initial days of the Iron Swords War, United Hatzalah volunteers responded to over 12,500 emergencies and saved thousands of lives.

“I am proud of Dr. Schlezinger and every one of our devoted volunteers, and thank the committee members for their acknowledgment and appreciation of the remarkable, life-saving efforts of United Hatzalah volunteers, both in routine circumstances and amid crisis,” he continued.

Schlezinger volunteers in United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, which addresses the emotional needs of family members, witnesses and bystanders during and after traumatic situations. She resides in Rosh Pina, is married and a mother of four children. In her leisure time, she enjoys shepherding sheep. She holds a Ph.D. in social work, works as a therapist in a private clinic, and is a lecturer in the Department of Social Work at Tel Hai College. In 2022, Schlezinger participated in United Hatzalah’s mission in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona.

See the investigative report on Channel 12’s “Uvda” program detailing the story of the children and Dr. Schlezinger’s assistance on Oct. 7.

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United Hatzalah of Israel is the largest independent, nonprofit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that provides the fastest emergency medical first response throughout Israel for free. Its service is available to all people regardless of race, religion or national origin. United Hatzalah has more than 5,000 volunteers across the country, available around the clock—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With the help of GPS technology and iconic ambucycles, its network of volunteers has an average response time of less than three minutes. In some metropolitan areas, the average response time is 90 seconds. Its mission is to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies as soon as possible and provide the patient with professional and appropriate medical aid until an ambulance arrives, resulting in more lives saved. See more at: https://israelrescue.org/.
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