The Community Relations Council is the public affairs arm of the organized Tidewater Jewish community. It represents the area synagogues and Jewish agencies on issues impacting the rights and protection of Jews as individuals and as a community. The CRC works to educate the community on public affairs issues and translates these issues into community action with the greater community, public officials, other faith and ethnic communities and the media.
Global Disasters: Israel, 1st on the Scene
March 15, 2015
Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin
Chief, IDF Field Hospitals
Head of Trauma Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center
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Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin is the IDF Reservist in charge of setting up the field hospitals in instances of natural disaster. In addition to this responsibility, he is also part of the Cardio Thoracic Surgery Department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem as well as the Head of the emergency hospital preparedness for mass causality team and the Head of the Trauma unit there. Merin is a popular lecturer in cardiac surgery at Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University Medical School in Beer – Sheva.
Merin is a Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF and has served since 1983 with the reserve forces in a variety of positions including his current position as Chief, IDF Field Hospital.
His reserve force unit was part of the Israeli delegation that gave aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, arriving first on the scene. He served as the chief surgeon of the hospital and was responsible for the triage and treatment of thousands of victims.
In the December 2010 edition of The Jewish Journal, the article, “The Top 10 Jews of The Year – 2010,” list Merin as #3 for compassion in action, and honored him for establishing the most effective field hospital in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the quake.
In May 2010 Merin received the Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles on behalf of the IDF.
Merin was also first on the scene in Japan after the tsunami that followed the massive earthquake on March 11, 2011, and in the Philippines after the Typhoon in 2013, on the Syria-Israel Border in the Fall of 2013, and most recently on the border with Gaza although citizens from Gaza were prohibited to use the hospital by Hamas.
Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front
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Join the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater for the premier of the new film from Jerusalem U, Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front. This full length documentary follows the dramatic transformation of five Israeli paratroopers from high school graduates to defenders of the State of Israel. Looking beyond uniforms, Beneath the Helmet explores the recruits' personal lives, dreams, fears, and dilemmas, revealing the human side of Israel's military and the inspiring young people who make up the IDF.