Israel Sends Trauma Experts to Parkland FL

Following the recent school shooting in Parkland FL, Yotam Dagan had a particular concern: how would student at Stoneman Douglas High School react to the next fire drill?  The Israeli clinical psychologist and former Israeli special forces member realized the shooter had pulled the fire alarm to empty classrooms.

According to CNN, Dagan said:

“If it’s just done without any early preparation or warning, the sound of the bell is going to reactivate the traumatic response….There are going to be meltdowns. There are going to be panic attacks.”

So, Dagan and fellow psychologist Alan Cohen hopped on a plane and flew to Florida.  “It’s not as if Israel knows anything America doesn’t.  But we have a lot more practical experience in putting them into a coherent program.” Indeed, as members of the Israel Trauma Coalition, they have experience in providing trauma counseling following terrorist activity in Israel and around the world, as well as assistance following natural disasters worldwide.

They are also experts in identifying those in need of trauma assistance, and brought their expertise to those impacted, as well as to community leaders who are in position to provide resources to those in need.

Read the inspiring story here.

I am reminded once again of the Israeli commitment to tikkun olam…making the world a better place.  Consistently, Israel is one of the first on scene anywhere in the world when assistance is needed.  Praise God for their tikkun olam commitment…and may we learn from their faithfulness.

Now, for the Rest of the Story…

A couple days ago we were introduced to 2-wheeled ambulances.  In Israel, a volunteer group of “do-gooders” respond to emergency situations on motorcycles equipped with emergency medical supplies.  That enables responders to get to those in need much sooner than it take an ambulance to fight through traffic.

However, today I want to focus on the actual ambulance crews in Israel.  What would you think if you were in an accident, an ambulance rolled up and a 16-year-old bounced out of the ambulance to care for you?  You might be surprised to learn that 60% of Israel’s EMT’s are teenagers!

Amazingly, Israel’s high school students are required to volunteer 60 hours of service to their communities.  Many serve with the Magen David Adom national ambulance service.  Crews are made of both Jews and Arabs, so those young people serve side-by-side.

Take a look at this fascinating article from Israel 21c:  Why Israel has world’s highest percentage of teenage EMT’s.  Enjoy!

Tikkun Olam: 2-Wheeled Ambulances

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Tikkun Olam is a Jewish concept of “repairing the world” or “making the world a better place.”  It is a Jewish social norm and is embedded into the fabric of Jewish belief.  It takes on forms of all kinds, both domestically and globally, as the longing to make the world a better place reaches near and far.

When I was in Israel in September, I saw an interesting site: a two-wheeled ambulance!  In jest, I dubbed it “EMT on wheels.”  But the idea struck me…those little guys can zip around the narrow streets of Jerusalem in a flash.  What a great idea!

A few days ago I heard the “back story” of those EMT’s on wheels.  Impressed once more by Israeli innovation, I watched the following video with great interest.  What I learned, though, is that EMT’s on wheels is yet another example of Jews and Arabs partnering together to make the world a better place…and they are all volunteers!  You won’t hear that on the news!

Enjoy the video!


(For those having problems viewing embedded videos, you can find the video here:

Tikkun Olam: Our Chance to Participate!

Hey gang, Israel doesn’t have the corner on the market in tikkun olam (making the world a better place), which we focused on yesterday.  In fact, I heard of a unique opportunity a few days ago.

Kathie Lee Gifford (whose father was Jewish) is a very committed believer in Jesus Christ who uses her television celebrity status to glorify His name.  She was married to the late Frank Gifford, himself an outspoken Christian during his days as commentator for the NFL.  Kathie Lee’s beloved Frank went home to be with the Lord in 2015, but she recently recorded a song to “honor his memory” and “do some good in the world.”  (Those Jewish roots are shining through!)

All proceeds from the song, “He Saw Jesus,” will go to Samaritan’s Purse, founded and run by Franklin Graham (the son of Billy Graham).  Franklin Graham is one of the world’s most highly-respected evangelical leaders, and Samaritan’s Purse is a worldwide evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization that provides aid to people in physical need as a key part of Christian missionary work.  Tikkun Olam!

I regularly support Samaritan’s Purse and hope you will consider doing likewise.  You can find out more about the work and ministry of Samaritan’s Purse here, and read Kathie Lee’s testimony here.  Enjoy her song here, then either purchase the song (proceeds go to Samaritan’s Purse) or click on the “Donate” button on the Samaritan’s Purse website to donate directly.  Come on Christians, let’s join in tikkun olam!