Last night’s festive Lag Ba’Omer celebration on Mount Meron tragically turned into a Mass Casualty Event leaving 44 dead and hundreds injured in a deadly stampede. First and foremost, ZAKA Search and Rescue expresses its deepest condolences to the grieving families.

While authorities are still investigating the cause of this unprecedented disaster, when thousands of people urgently began to flee from the chaotic situation, our heroic ZAKA volunteers didn’t hesitate to run towards the source of danger. Dozens of ZAKA volunteers proceeded to save countless lives of those who could be rescued, and then spent hours throughout the night tending to the heartbreaking “Chesed Shel Emes” of providing Jewish dignity to the many who were killed. As is always the case when tragedy strikes in Israel, ZAKA volunteers are the first to respond.

As we go into Shabbos here in Israel, there are victims who have not yet been identified, many who are still missing and whose families are frantically trying to locate. ZAKA Search and Rescue has set up a database to assist the families and we urgently request your prayers for those missing or injured.

This tragedy serves as an important reminder of the vital role ZAKA fulfills in Israel and we urgently need your help now more than ever. Please show your support for ZAKA today so that we can strengthen our volunteers and always be there when the Jewish people are in danger.

May Hashem comfort the mourners of the Lag Ba’Omer tragedy and rescue Israel from all trouble and injury.