Another bureaucratic saga.

(consider each bolded phrase a new bureaucratic obstacle)

Some of you will remember that I was certified as a medic with Magen David Adom (MDA) back in November.

I persisted for months against dead-end email addresses, voice mail messages, wrong numbers, and disconnected phones, to register for the month-long intensive course. It was extremely difficult, learning and being tested in high Hebrew, about complicated procedures, but I did it!

The medic certification allowed me to volunteer on MDA ambulances, but not get paid. So I found work as a medic in a travel company, in which I accompanied guided tour groups. Meanwhile, I attempted to register as a volunteer at the station in Hadera, near the kibbutz where I live.

In any case, I wasn’t allowed to work or volunteer until I had received my official certificate of course completion. But no problem, the MDA staff assured me the certificate would arrive in the mail a few days after the course final.

3 weeks later, my certificate arrives.

I begin to work. The tour company, Maslulim, assures me that I can work as much as I want, and I request to work at least 25 days per month.

*Perhaps this is the time to point out that when an Israeli “assures” you of something, you should assume it has no chance of happening. Just like when an Israeli says,”don’t worry!” or “soon!”, you should start to worry and wait.*

The company pays…very little. About $65 (260 shekels) per day, though I may be away on trips for days at a time. Out of the many trips I was scheduled to work, nearly half were cancelled.

At the end of the month I have worked only 6 days. I quit. (And a few days later begin working as a waitress)

Return to MDA .

I call the station again, to find out why it’s taking so long. They don’t know. Why don’t I just come in to the station to talk face-to-face?

3 trips to the station and 2 weeks later, they tell me there’s a computer problem and they can’t enter me into the system.

A month an a half, 22 phone calls, and 34 texts later, they tell me the computer technician hasn’t shown up to work for months and thus the computer bug hasn’t been fixed.

This is the final straw.

Bureaucracy has chipped away at the one thing I most wanted to do in Israel – work in an ambulance. 3 useless, ambulance-free months have passed since I received my “clearance” to volunteer. Every time I hear a siren on the highway, I look achingly at the ambulance, wishing I were sitting on the back benches to take the patient’s vitals.

But thank you, random office idiots, for spoiling my chances. I’m tired of dealing with you all. In a month I’m flying back to the US, not knowing when I’ll next return to live in Israel. And truly it’s your loss that you have denied a hard-working, passionate new medic the chance to help save lives…

…all because you couldn’t be bothered to think outside your goddamned data entry box.

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3 thoughts on “What Happened With Magen David Adom?

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Since the beginning of the Ulpan I have been trying to make Aaliyah, and have only run into bureaucratic hurdle after bureaucratic hurdle. Since I started the citizenship process in Israel, I will be going on my 3rd trip this May for an Interview (at the Misrad Hapniem in Hadera). Nefish b’nefish has been useless, and have wasted so much time, money, and energy, that sometimes I doubt if it is even worth it to move. I’m starting to get used to Washington State actually. And the fact that going to the post office isn’t a day-long activity, and that you can go to the back in less than 15mins, makes it even less tempting to follow through with making Aliyah.

    1. Michael, why do you want to make Aliyah? I encourage you to apply for a residency visa (ויזת תושב) – you can be “Israeli” for two years before renewing your visa. PLUS it’s much easier to get; as long as you prove your Jewish-ness with a letter from your rabbi, they’ll give it to you. PLUS PLUS you get two years to decide if you want to deal with Israeli bureaucratic hell for the rest of your life… I may not be so enthusiastic about becoming Israeli at the moment.

      Are you in Israel or the US? I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. It’s truly depressing to endure all the bureaucracy.

      1. Right now I am in the U.S. I have an appt. May 5th at the Misrad Hapniem to finish up my paperwork. There are lots of pro’s and con’s to living in Israel, and I have dealt with a lot of the same type of “Israeli Bureaucracy” in the past at the end of the Ulpan.
        I hope things start looking up for you.. Best wishes…
        –Michael

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