93Queen and Ezras Nashim

A Documentary About an All-Female Ambulance Corps in Brooklyn

Photo of the three standing at a lectern
(l-r): Rachel Freier, Ailin Elyasi and Paula Eiselt

On Wednesday, March 14, 2019, students at Stern College for Women were treated to a viewing of 93QUEEN, a documentary about Ezras Nashim [Women’s Help], an all-female ambulance corps in Brooklyn, New York.

Ezras Nashim was founded in 2014 by Judge Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a New York City Criminal Court judge who holds the distinction of being the first Hasidic Jewish woman to be elected as a civil court judge in New York State and the first Hasidic woman to hold public office in United States history.

She founded the organization to assist women who, for religious, cultural and other personal reasons, prefer to be treated by female emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Previously, observant Jewish women could only call the local volunteer ambulance services when they needed medical attention, which are composed exclusively of observant Jewish men who might also be the womens’ neighbors and fellow community members.

The documentary was followed by a panel discussion with Judge Freier, Paula Eiselt, the director of the documentary, and Ailin Elyasi ’20S, who is also the coordinator of the Ezras Nashim division at Stern College for Women.

Many attendees expressed their enthusiasm and high admiration for Judge Freier and the women in the corps, and all were thrilled to hear that Ezras Nashim is expanding, with a new division to start at Stern College in the near future. “We have a group of women who are passionate and dedicated to making this endeavor successful,” said Alyasi, “and the YU administration has been overwhelmingly helpful. Ezras Nashim should be starting soon and we hope our services will provide added comfort and modesty to the ladies of Stern.”

Tamar Schwartz ’20S, executive coordinator of Ezras Nashim at Stern College, agrees that the organization has brought together a group of women with a common vision, commenting that “it has been incredibly inspiring and empowering to see the great excitement and interest rising throughout our campus from students of all different backgrounds, interests and majors coming together to volunteer for and support this wonderful organization. Each student comes forth with a sense of passion and genuine desire to help others.”

There is an ongoing EMT course given at Stern every Sunday. For more information on Ezras Nashim at Stern College and/or the EMT course, contact Ailin Elyasi or Tamar Schwartz at ailinelyasi1@gmail.com or teschwar@mail.yu.edu. To donate to Ezras Nashim at Stern College, click here.