MDA brings first babies home, Updates

  • Nepal15 - First MDA plane out Wide
THE FIRST RETURNEES - An MDA chartered plane just landed back in Israel with 7 day-old babies born to surrogate mothers in Nepal, 3 siblings & 12 parents. The families survived in very difficult conditions. LATEST REPORTS: Knesset plan to change surrogacy laws; Mother & son trapped hiking plea for help; 180 more med personnel & equipment on way; and at least 8 Israeli hikers trapped…
by ANT KATZ | Apr 27, 2015

ABOVE: Israel prepares for dispatch of Nepal aid at Ben Gurion Airport

As the confirmed death toll in Nepal rises above 4,000, with tens of thousands of wounded, the number of Israelis who remain unaccounted for is still at 150.


Y-NET says that “Israelis stranded in Nepal after earthquake plead for rescue.” The families of six Israeli hikers stuck on the Langtang trail say conditions are worsening. They have called for helicopter rescue and the Israeli government says it is aware of their plight.

RIGHT: The first Magen David Adom airlift from the country arrived back in Israel late Sunday, carrying new-born babies born to Nepalese surrogates and a number of Israelis injured in the quake

An IDF flight carrying a field hospital and rescue equipment finally took off Monday morning, after delays due to damaged runways at Kathmandu airport. It is not clear whether they will land in India or Nepal.

The Home Front Command's delegation includes 260 people, who will take part in search and rescue operations, and offer medical attention to survivors via a field hospital. The delegation will also attempt to contact Israelis who are still unaccounted for.

Forty doctors and some 80 other medical staff will man the military field hospital, which will include operating rooms, x-ray facilities and a delivery room.

Stranded pair pleas for help

In the meantime, Oranit Grossman from Yichron Yaakov was in Nepal for a 50th birthday trek with her 22-year-old son, Tomer.

Nepal15 - First MDA plane

LEFT: Tomer and Oranit Grossman in happier times

She landed at the weekend in Kathmandu and rushed to join Tomer who recently completed his studies in the US.

MFA aware of them

The two were stranded in a village after the earthquake, surrounded by the bodies of those killed in the 7.9 tremblor.

The village has been cut off and food is running out. Tomer sent a message by phone giving their precise location and calling for rescue.

nepal15 MDA plane returns

RIGHT: The Grossmans' plea for help

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said it was aware of the situation and was making every effort to reach the two.

Israel's laws at issue

According to THE GUARDIAN, many Israeli male couples fathered children with the help of surrogate mothers in Nepal because surrogacy is illegal in Israel for same-sex couples in Israel.

The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kathmandu and horrific aftershocks which have hindered rescue efforts in the Himalayan nation, have also brought the situation of Israeli surrogacy to the fore.

This afternoon Israel’s foreign ministry said they were still planning to bring back a further 22 infants and their parents who had travelled to Nepal before the disaster, and four surrogate mothers who were still carrying babies.

Nepal15  - MDA delivers baby

LEFT: Another new-born delivered bu MDA

Yossi Filiba, from Tel Aviv, said that he had gone to Nepal more than three weeks ago for the birth of his baby girl, Na’ama.

The 44-year-old added that he and several Israeli couples and their babies had found shelter in the ground floor of a building in Kathmandu and were waiting for the Israeli air force to evacuate them.

“We don’t know when they will get here,” he said. “The water is going to finish and I am with a small baby. There is very little food and no electricity, although sometimes there is a generator.”

Filiba said he had been feeding his daughter in his apartment when the earthquake struck. “I grabbed the baby, ran down three floors and out to open space. All around us, small buildings were collapsing and people were terrified,” he added. Filiba said Israeli parents usually spend a month in Nepal for their child’s birth and to make final arrangements to bring the infant home.

Israel’s Knesset (parliament) was considering changing Israeli surrogacy laws – pundits suggest this event will hasten those changes.

Related reads on SAJR Online…

How you can help the relief effort…


  1. 2 Choni 28 Apr
    One would have thought that only halacically proven Jews are eligible for the Law of return.
    These babies certainly do not fit into this category.
  2. 1 Denis Solomons 28 Apr
    Sounds like harrowing moments .
    To evacuate a tiny baby cannot be easy and the conditions are so harsh !
    No water, no electricity and what sounds like power outages.
    Can't be pleasant to bring a baby up under such circumstances.
    I am sure that helicopters are a necessity under such circumstances; especially to evacuate babies !


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