Jerusalem, Israel - Apr. 1, 2024  - Google for Startups Campus in Tel Aviv hosted a Women Leaders Summit by the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night, March 26th.

The startup pitches were impressive by talented and innovative women who founded or co-founded companies making a difference in the world. 

Israeli Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Gila Gamilel spoke in her newly appointed Knesset position.

Of all the impressive stories from the evening with the long list of accomplished women speaking was one of the heroes from October 7th. Sivan Mashiach, a rehabilitation physical therapist and a United Hatzalah volunteer paramedic for 24 years, was interviewed about her experience on Shabbat Simhat Torah on October 7th by Maayan Hoffman.

Mashiach was woken up by her husband at 6:30 on the Yom Tov morning. Contacted by Avi Marcus, the deputy head of the organization’s medical department, who is also Shomer Shabbat, she immediately understood that lives were at stake. A call from the United Hatzalah dispatcher requested her to go to Israel’s south from Elad where she lives with her husband and five children. 

At around 11:30 am, she was asked to take an ambulance and headed south. "I never doubted that I would go and neither did my husband and children, even if the children were somewhat frightened. I headed south with a team in an intensive care ambulance. We treated dozens of wounded soldiers and civilians with gunshot wounds, injuries from RPGs, shrapnel, severe head injuries, and amputations."

Supplies quickly ran dangerously low. The situation was dynamic. We were informed in real time which routes were considered safe for travel and which were not, but there were no guarantees." 

Over the years, Mashiach said she learned to filter out the scenes from terror attacks, auto accidents, and other extreme trauma, "in order to stay sane for my family. I do my best to avoid seeing things that are not strictly necessary to save lives. But in this situation, there was no way not to see."

Mashiach could understand the military terminology in the rapidly developing extreme situation having been an IDF paramedic. She returned to the front lines near the Gaza border multiple times over the next few days. 

Concerning October 7th, she impressively concluded, “On that day, I realized more than ever, that God puts me wherever he needs me, whenever he needs me, to be an emissary for saving lives.”