As a global health company, Intrivo’s mission is to help more people access the healthcare they need to live healthier, longer lives. So when CEO Ron Gutman learned of the Hamas terror attacks against Israeli civilians, he felt compelled to take action, flying to Israel to provide support on the ground.
He visited the site of the Supernova music festival, one of the first targets of Hamas’ surprise attacks that killed 260 people, making it one of the worst civilian casualty incidents in Israel’s history. “It’s been almost unbelievable. It’s really hard to imagine what happened here,” Gutman said as he surveyed the destruction. “Young people came to a festival to sing and dance and celebrate, and all of a sudden, there are shootings and explosions, and they’re trying to escape.”
Gutman also spoke to survivors who lost family, neighbors, and friends in the violent Hamas attacks. Irit Lahav, a survivor of the attacks that decimated the Nir Oz kibbutz, was woken by the alert for a bombing. Two minutes later, her neighbor texted to tell her that someone was shooting at the house. Lahav recalls the terror, “We held each other’s hands, and my daughter said to me, ‘Mum, I love you.’”
“The price is very high. We lost half of my family,” Gil Hazut, another survivor of the Nir Oz kibbutz, told Gutman through tears.
Helping the affected civilians was a top priority for Gutman, who wanted to identify local agencies making an impact and provide them with additional resources. One such organization is Brothers and Sisters in Arms. Previously a protest group run by veterans, Brothers and Sisters in Arms has become Israel’s largest aid organization after the Hamas attacks. “In just a few hours, we’ve managed to convert the organization that we’ve built in the last nine months into a civilian aid or support organization,” Oren Shvil of Brothers and Sisters in Arms told Gutman from their headquarters in Tel Aviv. “Big companies or big organizations, they come here and volunteer. I just tell them what to do, but these guys are incredible.”
In addition to organizations supporting the daily needs of Israeli civilians, Gutman sees an immediate need to deliver mental health support, which is why he’s raising funds to support a local mental health services non-profit agency. “These people were attacked, many of them were in these areas when it happened and got saved somehow, but they need to deal with it,” said Gutman. “We’re working to put together a group of psychologists and psychiatrists because we also want to provide know-how and to provide resources on the mental health side of the equation.”
“The question is not what’s happening here, it’s what can we do to make it better,” shares Gutman, who also hopes there will be a humanitarian path soon to provide medical supplies to the hostages and civilians in Gaza. “Medication, medical devices, medical support, is something we can all make sure that arrives to the people who need it most. It has nothing to do with politics, it has nothing to do with wars, it has nothing to do with armies, nothing to do with any of that, it has to do with what we feel as humanity.”
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