At the beginning of the month, an MDA delegation travelled to Switzerland in order to improve and develop the activities of the Friends of Magen David Adom in Switzerland. The delegation was welcomed in the ICZ community centre, the central Jewish community of greater Zurich, which includes hundreds of families of all types. A few months ago the community celebrated 100 years since its founding, and it is considered one of the oldest communities in Switzerland. The community accompanied the members of the delegation and cooperated in a praiseworthy manner.
On Sunday, 11th November, members of the delegation together with the Friends held an evening for the youth of the Zurich Jewish community in the community centre. The activities were organized with the intention of connecting the youngsters to the State of Israel and to Magen David Adom. The evening was advertised by the emissaries of the youth groups in the community, and we were delighted to meet participants from the different youth groups in the community: Bnei Akiva, Hashomer Hazair, and Hagoshrim.
During the activities the youngsters were given an explanation about the purposes of the organization and its widespread activities in Israel and abroad. The participants heard about the experiences of volunteering in MDA in Israel from Tali Elbaum and Lital Bollag.
Tali and Lital are Swiss youngsters who came to Israel last year to volunteer in Magen David Adom within the framework of the overseas volunteers program - the girls told about the training they had received and about the volunteer activities themselves in the Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan stations. The session was given together with a power point presentation of pictures and films that illustrated their experiences.
In addition the participants had a CPR training session which was given by the instructor Anna Sherman in order to enable the young participants to cope with emergency situations requiring an immediate medical response, with a stress on situations they are likely to encounter as part of their activities in a youth movement.
The next day, members of the delegation trained the Security personnel of the ICZ community. The Security company of the Jewish community is made up of Israelis who come to Switzerland after their army service and adult youngsters of the community between the ages of 18-25, who have a training period whilst working with other security force members and only then do they join the Security system. The tasks of the Security personnel are to take care and secure the community centres which are spread out all over the city: the community centre, synagogues and Jewish schools, and to give a response to the needs of the community. The Security personnel undergo training sessions and refresher courses on a weekly basis in order to keep up their high standard of operational activity.
On Monday of the same week, the security personnel had a First Aid training session during which they learnt to identify medical emergency situations, how to call for help in the best possible manner, CPR, help and treatment when possible in frequent situations such as breathing problems, heart attacks, suffocation, allergies, bleeding, breakage of limbs and in addition to the professional training they received, they practiced the essential activities and use of the defibrillator which is in the Community centre and for all this training they even received a certificate from MDA. In addition to the professional training the medical equipment in the community centre was carefully checked by the members of the delegation. Lists of equipment needed were updated and what was lacking was noted, packaging and removal of anything out of date was removed, and all this was done in order to help and make the medical system of the Jewish community in Zurich more efficient.
During the activities and at their end, the members of the delegation received excited reactions. Amongst the reaction stood out the training sessions given by Magen David Adom, the straightening of the professional line and the actual training was clear and interesting and was very useful to the participants.
The training session was summed up by the Security Officer of the Jewish community who was full of praise and appreciation to Magen David Adom and its worldwide activities and the desire to maintain the connection and future cooperation with MDA in Israel through the Friends of MDA in Switzerland.
Dr. David Sheiner, President of the Friends of Magen David Adom in Switzerland congratulated everyone on the successful activities and added that MDA Switzerland plans to work hard within the community.
The Swiss desk of Magen David Adom reports that this activity is the first of its kind encouraging the fruitful cooperation between Magen David Adom and the Jewish community in Switzerland and the Friends of Magen David Adom in Switzerland will lead this welcome move.