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Six Chicago-area synagogues partner to send ambulance to Israel

Makom Solel Lakeside in Highland Park coordinated the effort last year, not knowing it would be needed now more than ever

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Six Chicago-area synagogues teamed up this past year, raising more than $100,000 to purchase an ambulance for Magen David Odom, the emergency medical service agency in Israel and an American Red Cross partner.

“We’re glad we can contribute something to the healing instead of the hurt that goes on there," said Rabbi Ike Serotta of Makom Solel Lakeside. "We couldn’t have envisioned that it would be so much in need. But this is a very dark time.”

The ambulance was made in Indiana and will be shipped 6,200 miles to Israel by the end of October. It will be a tool for EMTs to help civilians.

"We need additional ambulances, we have vehicles that were damaged. We lost several team members," said Yoni Yagadovsky, director of international relations for the MDA.

Yagadovsky was in Highland Park on Sunday, visiting from Israel. He detailed what his teams have endured the past two weeks during the Israel-Hamas war.

“The amount of tourniquets team members placed were way beyond anything we’ve ever done in the past in one day," he said.

Several team members were also killed in the Oct 7 terror attacks that prompted the war.

Yagadovsky said the support from communities across the world will help healing, which goes far beyond physical wounds.

“The amount of support that has been received in the past two weeks is way beyond anything we have experienced in the past," he said. “The support that we receive here is simply amazing. I mean, heartwarming.”

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