Dr. Bat–Sheva Tzadok, an Israeli doctor who helped solidify Israel’s relationship with Jewish Wisconsin, has a request for the world: Don’t forget the hostages, not any of them.
War and tension will distract, but she said: “We have to try not forget these people. These people have to remain in our hearts all the time.”
Her husband’s aunt and uncle, in their 80s, are believed to have been taken hostage and transported to Gaza in the attacks of Oct. 7.
Tzadok, an Israeli physician, has served as chair of the Sovev Kineret Partnership 2Gether steering committee, for the local partnership region. The partnership provides for cultural exchanges between local people and an area near the Sea of Galilee in the north. Milwaukee Jewish Federation sponsors the program in Milwaukee and partners with Partnership 2Gether in Israel.
Now, the doctor’s husband, Lior, is serving in the military and her country is at war.
Tzadok is asking for people to remember the hostages.
She’s calling for people to “try to put pressure on governments to put pressure on Hamas to release them, somehow. Because our government is just so busy with the war. We just don’t want this to get lost.”
Tzadok turned to another Israeli who had endured a different hostage crisis, as a family member, for advice. She said she was told that the issue must be seen as an issue for the whole Jewish world, or for the whole world.
“I really hope this becomes one of the priorities,” Tzadok said. “That’s what sets us apart as human beings.”
Tzadok is an emergency room physician and at Chronicle press time, her Israeli emergency room was quiet. So instead of working with patients, she’s working to get medical equipment and supplies to where it is needed.
There simply isn’t enough medical equipment and it’s hard to be a mother and wife of soldiers while working on the issue, she said, but she presses on.
“I just work on getting medical supplies, because that’s what I know,” she said. “I understand what we need to buy.”
She teaches point-of-care ultrasound, for detecting internal bleeding. These machines are among the equipment needed.
“I found there’s this amazing civilian network of people that are religious, not religious, right and left. We were basically at each other’s throats a few days ago. And now we’re all working together,” she said. “And we’re trying to cut the red tape. The army can’t possibly supply, as quickly as possible, all the equipment that’s needed. So now, we’re basically doing this grassroots, where we’re contacting people and buying machines.”
She’s communicating with emergency room physician friends abroad, buying urgent equipment that soldiers need, she said. Soldiers will literally arrive at her Israeli hospital, pick up equipment, and leave for the Gaza region.
“They send me pictures, and they’re like, look, here’s the machine, look what we’re doing,” she said.
“It’s so hard to organize but there’s so much goodwill.”