Interacting with Miriam Ballin pulls you into a fast-paced experience. You cannot sit across from this embodiment of multitasking without feeling a quickening of your pulse, thanks to the incessant beeping of multiple phones and other gadgets clamoring for her attention. As the director of a highly professional unit that comes to the rescue of people in need of psychological aid, she has no idea when or where her services will be required next. But knowing Miriam, the life she leads comes as no surprise.
Miriam’s life has been colorful since the start. Born in Houston, Texas, the family later relocated to San Francisco, California. Much of her schooling was spent as a boarding student in Boro Park, and she attended Machon Bais Yaakov High School. After she married her Australian-born husband, she moved “Down Under” so he could complete his medical studies there.
“We lived in Sydney for five years,” Miriam tells me, going back to the beginning of how she found her calling. “During this time I was a dispatcher for Hatzalah, while my husband provided medical services for them. I would watch him go out on calls all the time, wishing that I could play a more active role in this important work.”