Kadima Chairwoman MK Tzipi Livni visited Zaka headquarters in Yerushalayim Tuesday, receiving a warm welcome from ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav and CEO Arale Tzur.
MK Livni received an overview on the organization’s wide-ranging life-saving, search, rescue and recovery activities in Israel and overseas, its sources of funding and other resources. MK Livni applauded the organization and its volunteers, stating that: “You underestimate the amount of honor and respect that the people in Israel have for you.” She added that, “you have changed the public perception of the chareidi community in Israel. I very much appreciate the work that you do, day or night – saving lives and honoring the dead. My friends and I are your partners and we will help in any manner that we can.”
The organization’s leadership gave MK Livni a tour of ZAKA headquarters and the 24 hour hot-line emergency telephone center, as well as a new ZAKA Firefighting ATV, an all-terrain vehicle which facilitates easy access and mobility on hilly terrain and carries firefighting and emergency medical equipment. The ZAKA Firefighting ATV unit was recently established based on the lessons learned from the fatal Carmel Forest Fire in January 2011. Livni was especially impressed by the organization’s capability to manage thousands of volunteers and its wide range of services.
At the end of the visit, Zahav gave MK Livni a “prayer for the State of Israel,” adding that, “At times, only a prayer can help.”
Founded in 1995 by Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, Zaka is Israel’s non-governmental lifesaving, rescue and recovery organization, with over 1500 volunteers deployed around the country, on call 24/7 to respond to any terror attack, disaster or accident immediately, professionally and with the necessary equipment. With specialist search, rescue and recovery units on land and sea, the ZAKA volunteers are equipped to reach any emergency incident as quickly as possible, thereby saving precious time – and lives. The UN-recognized ZAKA International Rescue Unit actively assists at natural disasters, plane crashes, and terror attacks worldwide.