First female haredi judge in US, Ruchie Freier, visits MDA

Watch: The first female haredi judge in the United States, Rachel 'Ruchie' Freier, visits Israel's national first aid organization

Yoni Kempinski ,

Judge Freier meets with MDA volunteers
Judge Freier meets with MDA volunteers
MDA spokesperson

The first female haredi judge in the United States, Rachel "Ruchie" Freier visited the headquarters of the Magen David Adom (MDA) first responder organization in Israel recently.

Judge Freier called her visit to the MDA's offices an "inspiration", and thanked the female volunteers who hosted her.

“I thank the women of MDA for the inspiration I received during my visit, and will take that back with me in my suitcase to New York.”

While a Jewish rescue organization operating in New York rejected her - MDA embraced the haredi judge, who established a rescue organization for haredi women in New York. Judge Rachel “Ruchie” Freier visited Magen David Adom and learned about the integration o haredi women in Israel's National Rescue Organization.

In 2011, Judge Freier established the "Ezrat Nashim" organization, a unique medical emergency organization operated by female volunteers, to preserve the modesty of women during medical emergencies, especially in childbirth. The organization was established after the Hatzolah organization refused to recruit female volunteers, which led to harsh criticism. At first, Freier provided legal services to the organization, then became the organization's director. In February 2013, the organization was approved by the New York State Department of Health.

Judge Freier arrived to Israel to screen the film which tells the story of her struggle to run the rescue organization for women. As part of her visit to Israel, Judge Freier visited the Magen David Adom station in Jerusalem, where she met the haredi women who volunteer in the organization, toured the operational dispatch center at the station and accompanied the ride in the MDA’s rabbinical approved electric car driven by Chaya Vitkes, the first haredi MDA first responder who saves lives with the rabbinical approved electric car.

Judge Freier, a Paramedic, accompanied and MDA intensive care unit team consisting of haredi women only and responded with them to operational calls in Jerusalem, during which the judge told MDA EMTs and paramedics about her struggle to establish a women's rescue organization in New York and the challenge to be accepted by the Haredi society in the United States. On the other hand, the haredi volunteers in MDA told her about the ability of MDA, Israel's National Rescue Organization, to find each sector the place where it can partake in MDA's volunteer life-saving array, while preserving its lifestyle and customs.

Judge Rachel Ruchie Freier: "I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me to visit MDA. I saw not only what Magen David Adom does for the residents and especially the women who want to join, but actually I saw you in action. I saw how you respond to the call, relaxed, experienced and professional. You knew about the medications and knew what the patient's condition was. For me it was heartwarming to see that what I always say is true, that women are capable when they have the opportunity and I hope that in New York this opportunity will come even more strongly. But what makes Israel so special and your organization so special is the support of the men who share the work with you, the men you work with are respectable, I see that your interaction with them is conducted with respect, they give you the place you need and all the respect for all of you because you are doing something I find amazing. I thank MDA women for the inspiration I received during my visit to the organization that I will pack with me in a suitcase and take back to New York”.

The MDA Paramedic Ilana Abrams: ”It was a privilege to spend time with you on our way to emergency calls, I wish you, your community and all the people in America all the best. Hope you will succeed in realizing your dreams and saving lives, this is an important work and you are in the forefront. We look forward to seeing you in the future with us in the ambulance. Good Luck!”

MDA Director-General Eli Bin: "We were delighted to host Judge Rachel Ruchie Freier in MDA who was pioneering when she was appointed to be the first female haredi judge in the United States, a woman who is fighting for the inclusion of haredi women as the first responders in the field of saving lives. During her visit to MDA, she received an example and was inspired when she met the haredi women in the organization who serve as EMTs, paramedics and ambulance drivers, who take part in saving lives with full consideration of their world-view."