A fund to help defray the medical expenses of Roy Belzer, a flight instructor critically injured in a plane crash that killed two people in Santa Monica last week, has been set up at Temple Akiba.
Belzer, the father of three young daughters, has no medical insurance and remains in the Torrance Memorial Medical Center burn unit with third-degree burns on more than 30% of his body.
"Everybody kept saying, 'We have to do something,' " said Rabbi Allen Maller, who described Belzer, 40, as an "idealistic" and "determined" man. Maller said Belzer's family has been part of Temple Akiba for more than 30 years.
Leslie Rocklin, a student pilot, called Belzer "a phenomenal guy (who) would bend over backward for anybody." According to Rocklin, Belzer served as a paratrooper in the Israeli Army and as a flight instructor in the Israeli Air Force.