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A Video to Warm the Heart
This moving video was screened at the annual event of the Friends of Yad Sarah in London and illustrates more than 40 years of activity - for the benefit of all Israelis. * In the video, veteran volunteer Vivian London speaks about her long association with Yad Sarah and the help that was there for her when she needed it * Photography and Editing: Simon Maurer * Research and Production: Benny Cohen, Public Relations
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By Shelly Wolf

In 1969, only weeks before the first man walked on the moon, my husband, our year old son and I left our home in New York and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, so my husband could train as an ophthalmologist at Washington University. Leaving the comfort of family and childhood memories, we arrived armed only with the phone number of a college acquaintance and the name of the synagogue. In New York our neighbors had been distant and uninvolved. People rarely greeted us in our congregation despite our attendance each Shabbat. The rabbi didn’t know our names. But the day we arrived In St. Louis our neighbors offered to babysit for my son and for the three days before my stove was delivered to our apartment, meals magically appeared on my doorstep, delivered anonymously with cheerful notes of encouragement. The contrast with our old life was stunning. We basked in the warmth and the welcome. Yet we learned early on that a small community makes demands. Within weeks someone asked if my husband could work on a shul committee. Then I got a request to chair an event for young mothers, followed by pleas to organize a sewing class and create a new learning program. Soon we were invited to serve on organizational boards and help start a Jewish high school. In addition to our professions, we slowly became bound up in the life of our synagogue and the local Day School. After a time, we realized that each project presented challenges, but helped us develop new skills. Working in the community deepened our ties to it and helped us form lasting friendships. With my husband’s medical training complete, we settled in, found permanent jobs and stayed. I raised four children, ran the Day School library, taught creative writing and always volunteered. That was our life for 40 years. Thus, when we made aliyah, it was clear that I would look for some way to volunteer. I began with what I knew best and helped out in the English language library in Baka. Four years later I still find pleasure shelving books, and reading stories to young children. When a friend told me about the Life Story Project at Yad Sarah, I wanted to take part. I simply walked into the office one day and introduced myself. Within weeks I had an assignment and began work with a recent oleh from America, a Holocaust survivor. Somehow, despite several health related interruptions, we persevered. The rewards of that involvement exceeded anything I could have anticipated, and I believe the experience was rewarding for us both. Just this week the finished book has returned from the printer. Now I am looking for new ways to expand my volunteer work at Yad Sarah beyond my involvement with the Life Story Project. Almost two years ago I broke my tibia, and for three months I used equipment from Yad Sarah. Each time I entered the building I felt a sincerity and purposefulness among the people I met here. I believe it is that sense of mission that makes Yad Sarah such a distinctive place and I would like to be a part of that. So I am here, hopefully on the way to contributing just a little something by doing something I enjoy.

 
 
Third Graders Collect 500 Coins for Yad Sarah
The children wanted to help others less fortunate

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A Day at Yad Sarah
Chanukah is over and winter is upon us, but at Yad Sarah it is business as usual. See photo gallery above. Read more...

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Giving Stays in the Family
Elisheva Printz, lending director of the Jerusalem region, writes about Yad Sarah's newest branch in Kiryat Ye'arim (Telz- Stone) under the direction of the Felheimer family. * The family is continuing its own tradition as well as that of Yad Sarah's, and has established a local branch in their home * Photography: David Rothner *

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Hagit Yasu Gives Back
Customers who come to the Yad Sarah branch in Sderot are surprised to see Hagit Yasu sitting in front of one of the computers. (pictured) Hagit is well known as the winner of the "Kochav Nolad" program six years ago and received lots of publicity following the win.

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Where Does a Family from Oklahoma Turn When They Need Help in a Medical Emergency? Why, to Yad Sarah, Of Course!

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Yad Sarah is Now Part of the Fun in Jerusalem Family
When Fun in Jerusalem owner and creator Joanna Shebson was looking for a venue to host her family event, she chose Yad Sarah and became a fan

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Our Young People Also Give Back
Thanks to Shmuel Friedman, a high school student who has been volunteering at Yad Sarah's Givataim branch this summer. Helping out in the computer department,Shmuel also helps people carry borrowed equipment to their cars. We wish him the best of luck in his studies next year at a Jerusalem yeshiva. To volunteer, please call *6444

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Beit Safafa: Amina Aliyan speaks the Yad Sarah language
YS site reporter Sumiya Al Nabari talks with the director of the Jerusalem Beit Safafa branch

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As the Music Played, the Patient with Parkinson's Stopped Shaking
Hamutal Ben Or, director of the Day Rehabilitation Center at Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem, talks about a moment when music became therapy * Thanks to Musethica from all of us at Yad Sarah * Photographer: David Rothner

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