BaltimoreJewishLife Announces Launch Of ‘ONE-Number’ Emergency Hotline


baltimore-jewish-lifeFive years ago, with the founding of the Baltimore Shomrim, an organization dedicated to community safety, members of the Baltimore Jewish community became the beneficiaries of an ever-increasing array of volunteer intra-communal emergency services. These include Hatzalah, established in 2005 to provide emergency medical care until first-responders arrive; and Chaverim, founded two years later to serve as a formal ‘good neighbor’ organization, answering calls as varied as help with flat tires or misplaced house keys. Each of these organizations serves the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And each of them has had to be reached through a unique hotline number, sometimes creating confusion for callers who are seeking emergency help and are unable to remember the correct hotline number for their problem. is proud to sponsor the new ‘ONE-Number’ emergency hotline – 410-653-1111 – which is being launched today to help minimize delays in emergency situations. The hotline will act as a central station to dispatch the appropriate personnel needed for any given situation.

The easy-to-remember number is sponsored by The Chesed Fund Limited, while the phone system and service are being provided compliments of BWTel. As of September 22, callers who dial the ‘ONE-Number’ hotline will be immediately directed to press 1 for Hatzalah, 2 for Shomrim, 3 for Chaverim, 4 for Poison Control, or 5 for the Maryland Suicide Crisis Hotline. Other options already available include enabling members of the community to submit news items and traffic situations to On the drawing board are plans to provide links to additional community organizations and businesses, which will effectively make this number a full-service community hotline. The number does not replace the individual numbers of the various organizations.

The ‘ONE-Number’ hotline, the first of its kind in the nation, is the brainchild of Avi Rosenbluth, a long-time community activist and Baltimore native. The impetus for creating the hotline was a recent tragedy. Rosenbluth, who was instrumental in the establishment of both Shomrim and Chaverim, was deeply affected by the sudden death of the 12-week-old son of a close friend. “When such a tragedy happens,” he noted, “I feel the correct response is to do something good, to uplift the community through chesed (an act of lovingkindness).” The ‘ONE-Number’ hotline is being dedicated in memory of that child, Mordechai Verschleisser.

To make the hotline a reality, Rosenbluth turned to, a new website launched in June 2010 to serve as a virtual clearing-house for all information pertinent to the community. The partnership was deemed a natural fit, and immediately agreed to sponsor the entire program.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Why are they mixing true emergency services (Hatzolah) with non-emergency services (Chaveirim)? The latter should not C”V tie up a line in case of emergency!

  2. And it adds an element of delay in reaching Hatzolah by requiring to “Press 1 for Hatzolah”.

    (Additionally, what if the caller from a cellphone or VOIP line has poor reception, and the touch-tone for “1” is not immediately recognized — thus further adding delay to a Hatzolah call!)

  3. 1, by having hatzalah as the first option having chaverim on thier dosnt tie up anything ,and the hotline is an adition to the other hatzalah numbers so its for people that cant remember numbers to call threw this option.