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American volunteers flock to help in Israel after Hamas massacre


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When Hamas’ October 7 terror attack turned life in Israel upside down, these Americans took action.

Some flew to Tel Aviv, feeling inspired to help. Others, who were visiting Israel, dug in and stayed.

It was not about picking up arms.

Instead, they did things – like cooking meals, babysitting the soldiers’ children, helping on farms – that impacted the everyday lives of Israelis.

Here are the stories of the Americans who are keeping Israel going.

Schuyler Gordon, 37. Law clerk and volunteer fireman from Great Neck, New York. Volunteered as a firefighter.

After the attack, I spent a lot of time online, looking at what was going on in Israel.

It took me to a dark place.

I decided that I need to do something hands-on. I found the Emergency Volunteers Project and qualified as a firefighter.

I deployed to Israel for two weeks in October.

The experience was magnificent.

I deployed to Israel for two weeks in October.

The Judaism part of my life and the firefighting part of my life crossed paths for the first time.

On Friday night, there was shabbat dinner at the firehouse. Then the siren went off and four guys ran for the truck.

The Israelis were astonished that we put down our lives for two weeks.

They kept asking if we needed to eat. The firemen began as yenta grandmothers – until they realized we were there to work – then we busted each other’s chops and put out fires, often caused by falling rockets.

Coming home was bittersweet. Israel is the place where I need to be right now. I’ve taken a lot from Israel. This was about giving back.

Dr. Zev Neuwirth, 54. Internist from Miami. Volunteering as an army doctor.

War broke out on Saturday. By Sunday, I was in Israel. I went to a volunteer EMS and attached myself with a combat unit. I recently retired from the Marines’ Civil Affairs Group; so, I am a physician with military experience on the front lines.

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