Submitted: An Open Letter to Our Communities

Dear fellow residents of Lakewood, Toms River, Manchester, Jackson, Howell, and Brick

I am a long-time Lakewood resident, having lived here for over 30 years and been involved in the town’s various organizations. My name doesn’t matter since this isn’t about me or my opinions, but rather facts that the people of our communities should know now that Rabonim have given Hatzolah of Central Jersey their unequivocal support.

I remember when Hatzaloh of Central Jersey was known as Lakewood Hatzolah. It was a small organization that was full of heart and chesed but short on resources and ability. They didn’t have many ambulances and didn’t posess a great deal of experience. More importantly, they didn’t have Paramedics. While it’s true, there weren’t many calls either, but that one call that needed the Paramedics and didn’t have it made saving that life difficult if not impossible.

Fast forward to 2024. Lakewood Hatzolah, now Hatzaloh of Central Jersey has morphed into a behemoth of an organization that covers all the Frum communities far and wide with its signature speed and a level of professionalism that is second to none. With a very large crew of EMT’S and many paramedics covering tens of thousands of calls, you would have to be a fool to tinker with that kind of success. The development of this organization didn’t happen overnight. It took decades, and it was gradual, as it should be, in order to guarantee that we as residents don’t only get quantity but quality as well. Thinking that a new organization that has no medics, no experience, no organizational hierarchy, no vaad Harabonim, no medical director and barely any members would be able to somehow achieve the same level of quality service, defies reality.

To list all the accomplishments that Hatzolah has achieved in areas of medicine, local government affiliations and hospital connections would be a fools errand. However, suffice to say that it’s things that no other group would be able to achieve in this decade or the next. Those are the facts. Now, for the opinions on how and what could be done better, that too has an avenue of how to express those opinions. As I said earlier, Hatzolah is a professional organization, and by that, I mean they have a hierarchy. They have a Vaad Harbonim, a Balie Batim Vaad, captains, and a medical director. Any of these people can be contacted with any issues or concerns, and if something needs to be fixed, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t.

Echoing the letter of the Rabonim, opening an unsanctioned organization to offer services that aren’t needed and will surely lead to pikuach nefesh, isn’t the way.


A long-time Lakewood resident happy to see all of our communities continue to grow.

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  1. Very well said!!
    All those who think or say otherwise should think for one minute if Chv”s they need emergency help whom would they want should be treating them a professional team of good Yidden or a few unprofessional losers.
    For our safety lets stand with the Right great Yidden.

  2. “…and if something needs to be fixed, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t.”

    You need new glasses.

    I’m not saying we need a new organization but it’s easy to see how issues remain unchanged.

  3. So, as I understand this, Hatzolah only services Frum people and not non-Jews. Is this true? If so isn’t that discriminatory against non-Jews?

    • That’s a ridiculous claim!
      1- Hatzalah treats anyone that they’re called for, and to the contrary there’s been numerous documented stories of non jews refusing treatment by Hatzalah, as was posted on TLS quite a few times.
      2-Hatzalah was founded by the community, because our community wanted it, instead of the government funded Ems service that’s available to everyone. It’s only funded from donations by the community, and all the volunteers that dedicate their lives are from the community.
      So Yes they primarily cater towards the community that gives them the resources! It’s ridiculous to expect them to have the resources and money to serve the whole New Jersey.
      That’s not called discrimination, just as any community charity or organization

    • They help anyone whoever whenever not sure where you got this information from please respond with a actual source proving Hatzolah is for Jews only they will never ask on the phone are you Jewish or not

    • @anonymous
      Hatzolah helps any person of need who calls them, or anyone they encounter, that is beside the fact that they are completely funded by the jewish community, still, we help our neighbors because thats what people are supposed to do!

  4. I am old enough to remember when the rabbonim came out against the formation of a local Hatzala. They argued that the 911 was good enough and there was no need and will only cause animosity.
    Times have changed, and times continue to change.

    • Yes, but the Gedolim and Rabbonim are the only ones who should decide when changing times call for a change in approach.
      ”Times have changed” has been the mantra of countless destructive movements in our history, who chose their own way over that of the Gedolim.

    • We are exits 89-98 on the GSP. It starts down South by mile 1 and ends by 172 near Monsey. So the entire state is 172 miles long, which means the midpoint is at about 86. So we are pretty central…

  5. @anonymous, no, that’s not true at all. Hatzolah answers and responds to every phone call they get, they don’t stop and check if you’re Jewish. They are often first responders for car accidents as well, and they help whoever is needed.

  6. Anyone who has had the opportunity to interact with Rabbi Moshe Rottberg shlita knows how fortunate we in the Lakewood community are. May הקב”ה grant him אך טוב וחסד וכל טוב תמיד.

    I am sure there are others in the organization that likewise deserve our utmost appreciation. I simply shared my experience.


  7. I’m not sure what the problem is, really. Where do other guys operate ?
    How many members do they have ?
    If they can offer a good service why should anyone care ?
    We all know, for instance, Tomchei Shabbos is a Kodesh Kodoshim organization. And yet, didn’t we all get tens of calls from neighborhood friends helping a neighbor with Kimcha d’Pischa ?
    It’s not a stirah. In theory.

    • Very simple.
      In dealing with emergency calls on many different levels (Think, MVA, Psych, Suicide ר”ל, etc) you need to have a strong medical leadership, as well as strong connections with local authorities.
      HCJ has built up a trust of professionalism over many years with local authorities, that has led to better patient care and better outcomes for our community members in countless insistences.
      So a new organization coming along will only do damage to these connections, as many of the authorities will just look at them as another Hatzolah and it will cause many misunderstandings that will make them lose their trust and coordination.
      And btw this has already happened, local emergency departments have instructed their officers to start asking all responders at scenes for ID to differentiate and know whom they trust.
      Sadly the wild actions of a few irresponsible individuals already caused damage that will take years to repair and will continue doing unless they are stopped.

  8. The claim that hatzala only responds to frum or even just Jewish calls is blatantly false: 1. Practically speaking, how such call filtering would take place defies the reality of how dispatching works and is highly impracticable, and 2. The shaila was asked years ago and the psak was given that they must even go for calls to gentiles on Shabbos! Anyone who is interested in reality can just ask his local Orthodox rabbi and find out this information. It is really annoying when people just mouth off without researching and getting in touch with reality.

  9. So the problem is that this new organization doesn’t have medics?
    But a few lines earlier the writer says that Hatzalah of CJ started the same way???
    I’m not saying the writer is wrong, I’m just pointing out the logical fallacy.
    Don’t leave room for a counterattack.

    • Most Hatzala organizations in the State on NJ do not have medics, Lakewood is the exemption. I don’t see anyone calling for those other organizations to be shut down.

  10. We are aware that the Scoop is very politically connected; therefore, they only publish what they see in the mirror that can advance their interests.

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