ERAN- Emotional First Aid in Israel, a humanitarian nonprofit operating in Israel since 1971, stands as the largest and most experienced in its field, providing anonymous lifesaving emotional first aid services 24/7 through phone and online platforms. Tova Meiner and Inbal Amselem from our Hadera-Eiron Steering Committee are actively engaged in ERAN.
Tova, a board member, has been volunteering for 23 years at ERAN's hotline, while Inbal, head of Marketing and Community Relations, is a staff member and volunteers on their online platforms.
3,500 distress calls on October 7th alone, over 50,000 in the last month
"On the tragic October 7th Saturday alone, ERAN responded to about 3,500 calls, as opposed to 600 on a regular Saturday, including those from the NOVA nature party attendees and people in nearby bomb shelters," recalls Tova. The influx of calls has doubled since then, with approximately 20% involving children under 17. Tova recounts a heartbreaking call from a lonely little girl left with her siblings while her parents were assisting in Otef Aza.
"ERAN serves as a first responder for Israel's diverse population, offering hotlines in multiple languages, including English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Amharic," explains Inbal. "We operate dedicated lines for specific groups, such as Holocaust survivors, Haredim, and IDF soldiers, ensuring caller anonymity. In cases of self-harm and suicide risk, ERAN collaborates with authorities like the police, IDF, and MADA to intervene effectively".
Amid a predominantly female volunteer base (70% women), ERAN continues recruiting, witnessing growth from 900 to 1700 volunteers, including 200 Israelis abroad. Volunteers from a variety of professions undergo a rigorous screening process and 4-5 month training before committing to four 4-hour shifts monthly on the hotline or 2-hour shifts online.
Inbal reflects, "We didn't enter October 7th with a clean slate. The country has seen a year of interior conflict following the COVID crisis. Still, our response was fast, dedicated, and we even had a reserve force of volunteers that helped us."
While ERAN primarily provides first aid, it recently partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Israeli Trauma Coalition to establish a "Resilience Call Center," connecting callers from all over Israel with licensed therapists for longer-term treatment. ERAN also extends its expertise by training organizations like the Israeli police, National Insurance Institute, and private sector entities in emotional first aid.
For emotional support in Israel, contact the 24/7 ERAN hotline at 1201 or use the online services (Chat, WhatsApp, Mail, Forum): ERAN Chat.
Orna Nautra, a dedicated volunteer and supervisor at ERAN's New York branch, is facing an unimaginable challenge as her son Omer remains captive under the control of the Hamas terrorist organization. It has been 41 days since the tragic events unfolded on October 7th.
We urge you to take a moment to read and share the linked post, extending your support to Orna, her family, and all those affected by abduction and loss. Please share.