Democratic NYC Mayoral Nominee Eric Adams Honors Prominent Askan Rabbi Joel Friedman for Donating an Ambulance to Catskills Hatzlolah
New York City Democratic Mayoral Nominee Eric Adams presented prominent askan Rabbi Joel Friedman, last week, with a Citation of Honor for donating an ambulance, an electric stretcher, and a thumper to the Catksills Hatzolah, in the name of his father Rabbi Mordchi Friedman, zt”l, an askan and a 40-year-member of Hatzolah, whom Adams had known.
“My father’s life was full of chesed and full of generosity,” said Rabbi Joel Friedman, who pointed out that his father was not only one of the first Hatzolah members in Kiryas Joel, but that he served patients in Willamsburg, Boro Park, Washington Heights, Canarsie, and Manhattan, as well. “I felt it was important to donate an ambulance in his name, as well with an electric stretcher and thumper, which help volunteers so much by raising and lowering stretchers and by continuing to provide CPR compressions: all with the push of a button.”
When Adams honored Rabbi Joel Friedman last week, the Brooklyn Borough President said that he highly admires the work of Hatzolah: especially how the organization helped so many people during COVID, when so many volunteers were busy saving lives and transferring patients to the hospital.
“Adams thanked me for making a beautiful donation that is so important to save lives,” remembered Rabbi Joel Friedman. “Adams, who is likely our next mayor, called Hatzolah, ‘the most important organization on the globe.’”
Rabbi Joel Friedman said that he wanted to donate an ambulance to Catskills Hatzolah in White Lake because he felt that White Lake’s ambulance “was worst and oldest ambulance in the fleet” of the Catskills Hatzolah’s eight to 12 ambulances.
Another reason Rabbi Joel Friedman wanted to donate a much-needed ambulance was because Hatzolah in the Catskills now runs year-round because people now live there all year long, he said.
“The ambulances cover a lot of colonies, Camp Sternberg, and also a big roadway, the 17B,” explained Rabbi Joel Friedman, who is on call around-the-clock during the summer, and who also serves as a chaplain for the busy Garnet Health Medical Center, which was previously called the Orange Regional Medical Center.
With pride, Rabbi Joel Friedman said that his ambulance must have been sorely needed because it was well-used this summer.
“When the ambulance got to White Lake a week before the summer started, it had 300 miles on it,” he said. “By the end of the summer, the odometer hit over 4,000 miles.
“You can see the proof of it: it is a very busy area.”
When Adams presented Rabbi Joel Friedman with a citation, he marveled at how the Jewish community has so many community organizations that help its members with their every need.
In addition, Rabbi Friedman said proudly, Hatzolah does not just serve Jewish patients, but anyone who needs medical treatment.
“People in need call Hatzolah, and they respond,” said Rabbi Joel Friedman, who added that “New Yorkers, and especially the Jewish community, should be proud and be hopeful that Eric Adams will be a mayor for whom the community has long waited.
“He understands the Jewish culture and Jewish needs,” said Rabbi Joel Friedman, an askan, who has worked with Adams for 15 years on issues important to the community. “He understands how our school system works, and he understands the needs of our religion.
“He understands it, he gets it, and he will try to make a difference in the community. He respects the Jewish community.
“I think he is going to be the best mayor NYC ever had.”