Eli Beer and Murad Alyan honored for bringing Jewish and Arab volunteers together to provide immediate emergency services to all people
June 24, 2013—The Institute of International Education (IIE) has awarded the 2013 Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East to Eli Beer and Murad Alyan, two leaders of United Hatzalah, the all-volunteer Emergency Medical Service that provides fast and free first response throughout Israel. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, was presented at a ceremony at the American Center in Jerusalem, hosted by IIE in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Mr. Beer, a Jewish citizen of Israel, and Mr. Alyan, an Arab citizen of Israel, received the Goldberg Prize in recognition of their work in bringing Jewish and Arab volunteers together to provide immediate emergency services to all people, without regard to race, religion or national origin.
In an emergency, immediate response saves lives. Until a few years ago, emergency responders in some Jerusalem neighborhoods were hindered by narrow alleyways, security concerns and lack of appropriate medical equipment and supplies, leaving patients in critical condition with little hope of survival. Eli Beer and Murad Alyan have worked side by side across religious and cultural divides to change that.
IIE Trustee Victor J. Goldberg said, “This award recognizes innovation, and rewards those who are courageous and committed enough to work together to overcome the religious, cultural, ethnic, and political issues which divide the Middle East. We hope that the dedication shown by our prize winners will inspire others to join together across these divides to advance the cause of peace in the coming years.”
Hilary Olsin-Windecker, the U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs gave opening remarks, and Mr. Goldberg and Daniel Obst, IIE’s Deputy Vice President of International Partnerships, presented the prize.
IIE president Allan E. Goodman commented, “The winners we celebrate each year exemplify the kinds of joint action that are needed to resolve conflicts in this region and around the world. Mr. Beer and Mr. Alyan have the courage, strength, dedication and passion to make a difference by uniting to save lives. They embody Vic Goldberg’s long-time commitment to bettering the world through international cooperation.”
IIE, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1919 and headquartered in New York City, created the Goldberg IIE Prize with an endowment from IIE’s Executive Committee member and former Vice Chairman, Victor J. Goldberg. The Selection Committee for the Prize includes leading experts from academia, the non-profit sector, and government.
About Eli Beer and Murad Alyan
Mr. Beer founded United Hatzalah of Israel in West Jerusalem in 2006 to train and equip medical first responder volunteers to provide immediate lifesaving medical care prior to the arrival of an ambulance, using GPS technology and proprietary interactive dispatch software. Mr. Alyan, who works as a medical translator at Hadassah Hospital, had witnessed tragic losses in East Jerusalem due to the delayed arrivals of medical responders, and approached Mr. Beer to discuss a joint venture to provide a similar service in East Jerusalem. Mr. Beer agreed to include Arab volunteers and expand the United Hatzalah services to East Jerusalem, with the condition that they respond to emergencies both inside and outside of East Jerusalem.
With Mr. Beer as president and Mr. Alyan as chief of the East Jerusalem branch, United Hatzalah now has more than 2000 Jewish and Muslim, secular and religious, male and female volunteers who are trained and equipped as EMTs, paramedics and doctors. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and must undergo a minimum of 200 course hours of training with practical field experience. Last year, they treated 207,000 people with a two to three minute response time.
Emergency care in Jerusalem neighborhoods can be compromised by narrow alleyways, security concerns and lack of appropriate medical equipment and supplies. With the arrival time for an ambulance to enter East Jerusalem averaging one hour, patients in critical condition would have little hope of survival. Today, nearly 100 Arab United Hatzalah of Israel volunteers respond to emergencies, treat patients and save lives, not only in East Jerusalem, but also in surrounding West Jerusalem neighborhoods. United Hatzalah’s groundbreaking East Jerusalem division is bridging the service gap that had existed between East and West Jerusalem.
Beyond coordinating emergency services, Mr. Beer’s and Mr. Alyan’s work together has built a community based on shared responsibilities and equal opportunities. By contributing to the lives and well-being of the communities, the Arab medics have taken on respected leadership roles and have garnered the respect of non-Arab citizens who have benefited from their medical services. Working together in this live-saving capacity has also brought Arabs and Jews together socially for important life events and family occasions.
Eli Beer is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader who has received the Forum’s Social Entrepreneur recognition and the Presidential Award for Volunteerism in Israel. Last month, he gave a TEDMED talk at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, titled “How can we save 40,000 lives in under three minutes?” which featured his “lifesaving flash mob” approach to providing the fastest response time in the world by using state of the art technology and a fleet of flycars and ambucycles to cut response time dramatically. The organization’s model and innovative technology are being adopted in Brazil, Mexico and Panama. When not saving lives, he successfully manages Beer Real Estate Holdings.
Murad Alyan is a senior paramedic with extensive experience as a team leader and first aid and medical services instructor. He works as a medical translator, nurse, trainer, lecturer, and volunteer team chief, and has received numerous awards and certificates of appreciation in his field.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.
About Victor J. Goldberg
Victor J. Goldberg retired from IBM in 1993 as a corporate vice president after a 34-year career at the company. Mr. Goldberg received both his undergraduate and his M.B.A. degrees from Northwestern University. He joined the Board of Trustees of the Institute of International Education in 1979, is a member of its Executive Committee and served for 13 years as vice chairman of the Board. He is a trustee of the International Fellowship Program, a Ford Foundation initiative for underserved populations around the world, and also serves on the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee and the board of Education Through Music.
About the Prize
The Institute of International Education awards the Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East annually to recognize outstanding work being conducted jointly by two individuals, one Arab and one Israeli, working together to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. The two individuals whose work is judged to be most successful in bringing people together and breaking down the barriers of hatred toward “the other” share a $10,000 prize. The Selection Committee for the Prize includes leaders from business, academia, the not-for-profit sector, and government. Chaired by Thomas S. Johnson, the Chairman of IIE’s Board of Trustees and retired Chairman and CEO of GreenPoint Financial Corporation, the committee includes: Susan Berresford, former President of the Ford Foundation; Peter Edelman, Co-Director of the Joint Degree in Law and Public Policy and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and past Board President of the New Israel Fund; Elizabeth B. Khalifa, Executive Director of the Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt; Kenton Keith, retired Senior Vice President of the Meridian International Center, Former Ambassador to Qatar and Director of USIA’s Office of North African, Near Eastern, and South Asian Affairs; Maisa Galal, Director of Human Resources, General Motors Egypt; and Harold Tanner, an investment banker and former President of the American Jewish Committee and head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.