The Hadassah trio in combat
The Hadassah trio in combatHadassah Spokesperson's Office

The senior medical division of the northern Nahal Brigade reserve battalion consists mainly of Hadassah Medical Center staff.

The two doctors and paramedic work together at Hadassah Mount Scopus and currently serve in the same reserve battalion. When the war began, the three were sent to the northern border, where they treated soldiers, trained the medics, and primarily supported each other.

"It's good to know that good friends of yours from work at the hospital are with you during a complex and difficult time when you are away from home," says Dr. Jonathan Berrebi

The reserve battalion in the northern Nahal Alon Brigade, comprised of veterans of the Nahal Brigade and recruited at the beginning of the war for operations in the north, boasts senior medical leadership, mainly from Hadassah. Three of the four senior medical staff members are on staff at Hadassah Mount Scopus: Dr. Jonathan Berrebi, a diagnostic radiologist; Dr. Shmuel Elchanan Juravel, an internal medicine specialist specializing in geriatrics; and Mordehay Benarous, a paramedic from the X-ray department. The three meet daily in the corridors of the hospital and now – in the field and in the reserve service.

"Our acquaintance is from working together at the hospital for many years, and when we came to the battalion as reservists eight years ago, we were delighted to see familiar faces and friends from our daily work at the hospital," says Dr. Berrebi.

On Black Saturday, when the war broke out, the three of them were called up for reserve duty, and they arrived together at the northern border: "When I jumped, I immediately called Jonathan and Mordehay; it was clear that it was one package. At first, we didn't understand the magnitude of the incident, but we immediately organized ourselves and started driving. During the long car ride, we heard updates on the radio; the difficult picture became clearer, and we understood the magnitude of the disaster," says Dr. Juravel.

Since that Shabbat, all three have been in the field, maintaining the battalion's medical readiness.

"We serve as the senior medical staff in the battalion, and as part of our job, we maintain and improve the battalion's medical readiness in routine times and, of course, now during the war," Mordehay says.

Over the past few weeks, the battalion's medical system ensured that the medics’ training was up-to-date and treated exceptional cases.

Dr. Juravel says of one of them: "We went through a significant incident when a soldier here was seriously wounded by shrapnel in the throat. We immediately treated him together; he was out of danger and continued treatment at the hospital. Each of us knew his role, we worked as a team in full cooperation, and there is no doubt that the deep familiarity between us contributes to this."

Dr. Berrebi adds that the long "war routine" and the extended stay in the field leads to additional medical treatments: "Because the war is prolonged and we are not in the battalion for only a day or two, besides medical treatment in exceptional events, we also provide a medical response to soldiers in routine medicine, and this includes a wide range of cases and providing help, which keeps everyone fit and ready for any situation and any scenario."

The two doctors and the paramedic, who have been on the northern border for three months, support each other and work together.

According to them, the common background from the same "habitat" is part of the ability to operate for a long time to benefit the entire battalion: "The fact that we know [each other] from working at Hadassah improves our ability to function even in field conditions. We consult with each other, train each other, and do everything so that the battalion's medical response will be the best. It's a benefit for everyone, and especially for the soldiers who need us."

The three are proud to say that when they needed additional equipment for medical missions in the field, Hadassah management responded to their request and donated medical equipment and medicines for the doctors and soldiers in the field.

"We contacted hospital management with a list of equipment that we were missing in the field. We received an immediate response to everything we needed, and it was good for us to know that the hospital was behind us and gave us full backing even during the war. Everyone is here for everyone," they said.