Yiddish in Haiti



A report in The Jerusalem Post, quoted the Israeli Foreign Ministry as saying that three of its citizens had not yet made contact since the magnitude-7.0 trembler rippled through the rocky terrain. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital just after 4:53 local time at the relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles beneath the earth’s surface.

Rabbi Shimon Pelman, in the Dominican Republic, said “Everything moved. I had been in Guatemala before, when earthquakes happened constantly, but nothing like this.” The last large earthquake struck the region in 1860.

Rabbi Shimon Pelman, the Chabad-Lubavitch representative to Haiti’s neighboring Dominican Republic, has emerged as uniquely positioned to provide strategic assistance. Intimately familiar with the people, the culture, and the bureaucracy, he has proven himself a vital link in the chain of aid delivery.

Rabbi Pelman has mobilized an agile task force on the ground that has already delivered truckloads of fresh produce, medicine and moral support directly to those who need it most. He is also providing pivotal support to myriad of foreign volunteers and especially to the Israeli Defense Forces who have set up the largest, most advanced and effective hospital in Port-au-Prince.

A daughter of late peace activist Abie Nathan, Sharona Elsaieh, who was feared missing in Haiti following devastating earthquake, has made contact with her family. Abie Nathans daughter has been living in Haiti with her husband for several years. Two other missing Israelis, a woman and her nine-year-old son, were found in good health on Wednesday. The Foreign Ministry in Israel  have no knowledge of any other Israelis missing in Haiti.

Rabbi Pelman, said that he and his community of 300 Jewish families were praying for all the people of Haiti. Rabbi Shimon Pelman have reported that he was attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of a handful of Jewish families and visiting Israelis in Haiti, which comprises the western half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Although most lines were down in Port au Prince, Pelman concluded through news reports and contacts with the Israeli government that most of the community appeared to have emerged from the quake unscathed. Rabbi Pelman had arranged to include boxes of kosher food for Israeli rescue workers in the Dominican Republic’s shipment of aid to Port au Prince.

The victims of the Earthquake in Haiti need help.

Like Denmark Israel will establish a field hospital in Haiti. The hospital  project will include 40 doctors and 24 nurses. The hospital, capable of treating 500 patients, will include an intensive care unit, two operating rooms, a pharmacy, and an X-ray lab. The team will also include a fingerprint expert, a doctor from the Forensic Institute, and an expert in body identification according to teeth x-rays. The Israeli field hospital will be set up on Saturday. Search and rescue agents from the Homefront Command will also be included. The rescue-teams from Mexico, South Africa and Australia includes Jews.

Woman who lost her family in the quake

Representatives of the Chabad-Lubavitch organization and of ZAKA, a rescue team made up of religious volunteers, the Jewish search and rescue group, are already in Haiti to help survivors and Jews in the disaster zone.

Street in Port au-Prince.

ZAKA has been working overtime in Haitian capital of Port au-Prince. Late Friday night they found a few minutes to conduct Kabalat Shabbat. The ZAKA team, comprised of just three people, has been working among the wreckage of a school in Port au-Prince. “We said Kiddush with delegations from Mexico, England, and Scotland. We sat with Jordanian security guards, an Israeli team, and people from Qatar and Egypt. It was strange, With all the hell going on outside, even when things get bad Judaism says we must take a deep breath and go on to save more people.” Mati Goldstein, commander of the ZAKA mission to Haiti, told the press.

Dead people in the streets of Port au-Prince.

Ahead of Shabbat, Chabad envoys were working hard to prepare kosher food and a proper Shabbat meal for Jewish aid workers already on the devastated island. Crew members from several countries all over the world have contacted the Chabad organization and asked for kosher food. “Every team includes Jews: Mexico, South Africa, Australia.”


The field hospital that Israel sent to Haiti has the most sophisticated equipment in the world.
Because of  the excellence of the hospital, many other countries rescue-teams prefer to bring the injured people to the Israeli hospital. For example, the team from Colombia and Britain work with the Israeli hospital.

The boy Kikki rescued more than one week after the quake

The hospital have treated more than 500 patients so far (patients with minor injuries, not accounted for) and 6 births.

Israel have sent more than 200 people to Haiti: Doctors,  the hospital, a rescue group (including sniffer dogs), coroners and staff Zaca, a religious group that identifies victims of terrorism after the attacks.
Israel had planned, that the assistance will be present in Haiti for another month.

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