Ukrainian refugees being flown to Israel by United Hatzalah as part of Operation
Ukrainian refugees being flown to Israel by United Hatzalah as part of Operation United Hatzalah

Members of the Adelson family, Children of Dr. Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson, recently sponsored flights for more than 500 Jewish Ukrainian refugees to find sanctuary in Israel. The flights, which were part of United Hatzalah’s Operation Orange Wings, brought the refugees from Chisinau, Moldova, and Iasi, Romania, to Israel over the past two weeks.

One of the people rescued was a woman named Irina, a Ukrainian refugee from Kyiv who arrived in Moldova by herself. Irina suffered from a complicated medical condition that required her to receive continuous medical care, which she was unable to receive in Kyiv since the start of the war, and during her travel to the border. Due to her condition, she was taken to a local hospital in Chisinau and requested from the hospital staff to go to Israel to be united with her son who lives in the Meir Shfeya Youth Village. Due to her condition, the staff at the hospital were unwilling to let her leave without supervised medical care, and they certainly weren’t willing to let her travel out of the country.

Recognizing the uniqueness of her request, and having seen the activities of United Hatzalah’s team in Chisinau on behalf of Ukrainian refugees, one of the staff members contacted United Hatzalah’s team in Chisinau and asked if there was a way that they could help. Chief Paramedic of United Hatzalah Avi Marcus, who served as the chief medical officer for the organization’s mission to Moldova and the Ukrainian border, sent one of the volunteer doctors who was in Chisinau to visit the woman and provide a thorough checkup. The doctor determined that with special medical supervision the woman could make the journey, and signed a document stating so. With this document, the hospital staff agreed to release the woman to the care of United Hatzalah’s medical team who arranged for her to be one of the people on the flight, thanks to the sponsorship by the Adelson family.

Two days after the hospital visit, the woman was on a plane to Israel. Upon landing in the country she was picked up and taken to Meir Shfeya and reunited with her son. Her son was overjoyed as he had not expected his mother to be able to make it to Israel. He wrote the organization a heartfelt thank you letter expressing his gratitude for all that was done in order to reunite the family together.

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer spoke about the Adelson family’s generosity. “Thanks to the support of Adam, Matan, Sivan, and Patrick, children of Dr. Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson, may his memory be a blessing, we were able to bring this woman and 500 other Jewish refugees to safety in Israel. Our teams provided the refugees with humanitarian aid at the Ukrainian border as well as inside Moldova, Romania, and other countries, and then we flew them to Israel onboard our specially chartered flights, while providing medical coverage throughout. Their support enabled us to save these people and bring them to safety and reunite not only Irina with her son but many other families as well.”