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Requests for Assistance from All Over the World
Requests are flooding into the Tourist Desk at the Department of Public Relations. For the first time, people in wheelchairs can fulfill their dream of visiting Israel, knowing that a full service tourist department can supply their every need – transportation from the airport in specially equipped vans, outfitting of hotel rooms with needed equipment, and much more. In the photo: Director of Tourist Services Nadia Alalu shows a map of locations from where Yad Sarah tourists originate
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Yad Sarah Reaches Out to Help Muquadam
Meet Muquadam, a two-and-a-half-year-old boy from Tanzania. He came to Israel under the auspices of Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an NGO that arranges vital operations for children from developing countries in need of cardiac surgery. And Yad Sarah gave him a wheelchair to take home. In the photo: Muquadam with his mother and Yad Sarah Tourism Director Nadia Alalu.
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So Much More Than Just Wheelchairs!
They asked about borrowing a wheelchair - they received a complete guide to hosting an elderly relative in a safe and accessible environment * Reported by Shani Rosenfeld, director of the Exhibition and Guidance Center at Yad Sarah in Jerusalem * In the photo: Students of Social Work and Health Services, guests from Israel and abroad, come to the Center and get reliable information based on many years of professional experience
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The Life Story Project at Yad Sarah has reached an exciting milestone – One Thousand Stories* Volunteer reporter Ora Malul talks about the special team that records for posterity the memories of Holocaust survivors and others who have a story to tell. In the photo: one of our storytellers, her granddaughter, and the volunteer who brought her story to life in Kiryat Tivon.

At Yad Sarah's Department of Home and Community Services, a most unique project has been operating for close to 20 years. With the financial support of the German Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVA), the service allows older people with much life experience – many of them Holocaust survivors and many of them housebound – to recount the stories of their lives and to leave them as a legacy for their families. The department recently marked the publication of its one thousandth story and in conjunction with the Department of Public Relations and Resource Development is producing a video which will form part of a campaign to bring greater awareness of the Life Story Project to the public at large. "We'd like to familiarize the public with Yad Sarah's commitment to the Life Story Project and to offer it to anyone who would like to take advantage of the service," explains Anat Ben Zaken, director of Home and Community Services, under whose jurisdiction the Life Story Project falls. Hagit Schiowitz, director of the Life Story Project, has a B.A. in psychology and a master's degree in organizational counseling with an emphasis on working with seniors. She has spent the last four years developing the project as well as training volunteers at Yad Sarah branches throughout the country. The Life Story Project was a natural offshoot of the Home Visiting Service, where volunteers visit the housebound, stimulating them with different activities and, above all, talking to them. Participants responded to their visiting volunteers, sharing with them stories about their lives. "It was easy for them to open their hearts to an empathetic outsider, who was not emotionally involved as is the case with family," explains Hagit. Some people expressed the desire to document their stories in writing. They started with just a few pages, then the number of pages multiplied and became connected. Over time, these activities became a service in its own right, with volunteers making visits for the express purpose of recording life stories." At first, the finished products were printed and bound simply at Yad Sarah. Today, the books are designed by a graphic artist and printed professionally by a printer. In addition, today each story project is worked on by several volunteers – the person who records the story, an editor, a graphic designer, and others. Each book cover is designed to personally fit the writer and his story. The task is challenging, but very rewarding. "We try to keep the authentic voice of the story teller," emphasizes Hagit, "so the family members reading it can "hear" the voice of the loved one telling the stories that are most important to them. At the same time, we make sure the story reads well and will not embarrass the teller." "Volunteers are a very important part of documenting the life stories" adds Hagit. "A lot depends on the connection that develops between them and the person whose stories are being recorded. When a trusting relationship exists between the two, a volunteer can get a reluctant storyteller to open up to them and help them explore the depths of their memories. Volunteers spend a lot of time and effort beyond the hours they commit to at the start of the project. Often a deep connection develops between the volunteers and "their" storytellers, a relationship that may continue for a long time. Often the process comes to involve other family members – spouses, children and grandchildren – who may contribute photos and other memorabilia or memories of their own. This involvement helps them see their loved ones from a different perspective and to get to know the person they were when they were young, building a new life and contributing to their communities. In the early years, the service was only available to Holocaust survivors. Then it was extended to housebound seniors over eighty who were confined to their homes by illness or infirmity. It has since been extended to younger participants, with priority still going to Holocaust survivors and those over eighty. There are three copies made of each story. One is for the storyteller and his family, one for the volunteer, and one is held at Yad Sarah. "Everything is about the storyteller," emphasizes Hagit, "the writing, the editing, the graphics, and especially the effort to preserve the distinctive voice of each participant. Each story is totally unique in every way." Sometimes, both the storyteller and the volunteer interviewer are Holocaust survivors. One volunteer, who had escaped in time and been spared the worst horrors of the Nazi period, feels his work with survivors on the Life Story Project helps him fulfill a moral obligation to the survivors who were not as lucky as he was. One survivor described how he felt tremendous relief at having been able to find closure through the telling of his story. "Now, with the help of the Life Story Project at Yad Sarah, my grandchildren will be able to understand what I went through in my life. Even more important, they will see the connection between my personal story of survival and the story of the survival of the Jewish people, epitomized by the Zionist dream and the establishment of a new generation of proud Jews in our own state of Israel. Yad Sarah will celebrate this milestone with a celebration at the Beer Sheva branch since this is where the one thousandth story was completed and because this branch is particularly active in producing life stories. In charge of logistics for the celebration is Esti Levi, who is also responsible for choosing the four stories that will "star" in a video being produced about the project by the Department of Public Relations. "The choice was very difficult. There are so many amazing stories among the thousand." A thousand stories that have changed the lives of so many for the better. A thousand stories that would never have been told without Yad Sarah and the Life Story Project.

 
 
An All-Terrain Wheelchair for Netanel
Yad Sarah House in Raanana Steps up to Create a Special Wheelchair for a Child with Special Needs

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NSN Israel Focus
Nachum Segal welcomed Michael Benson, volunteer director of Yad Sarah's Beer Sheva branch, to JM in the AM to highlight Yad Sarah's services available for both Israeli residents and tourists with disabilities

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"Keep Up the Good Work"
Israel Meron and Ruti Reches bring the Yad Sarah message to the Family Physicians Conference * In the photo: Professor Ilana Tzur

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The Exhibition and Guidance Center: Bringing Information about Access and Safety Aids to the Homebound - Because Knowledge is Power
Director of Yad Sarah's Exhibition and Guidance Centers Dvora Roitman talks about a new program introduced at Yad Sarah House in Rishon LeZion, in close collaboration with the Home and Community Services Department. * In the photo: Naomi Aharoni, volunteer physiotherapist, with Yedida Pen, sitting comfortably on a reclining armchair

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The Entire Yad Sarah Family Mourns the Untimely Passing of Kiryat Sefer Branch Director Chaya Yehudit Klein z"l
We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and will remember her for her dedicated service to Yad Sarah and her community

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At Yad Sarah, We Cherish the Warm Human Connection We Have with Our Clients
At Yad Sarah branches throughout the country, all volunteers and staff will wear nametags *In the photo: CEO Moshe Cohen and senior staff members pose with their nametags

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An Electrifying and Moving Interactive Experience Connecting You to Yad Sarah’s Special World of Giving and Volunteering

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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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Yad Sarah to Fight Domestic Abuse in the Negev
Yad Sarah has announced the opening of a Family Center in the western Negev to both treat victims and offer counseling to the perpetrators of domestic violence

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Video: See How We Give

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Yad Sarah expands its assistance to tourists with disabilities who want to tour Israel
President and founder of Yad Sarah Uri Lupolianski on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities * photo: A group of tourists from a sheltered housing community in New Jersey at the entrance to Yad Sarah in Jerusalem – the guests visited Jerusalem in Yad Sarah’s wheelchairs

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"A Real Tourist Experience"
A delegation from the Tourism Ministry recently visited The Yad Sarah Experience and had only praise for the newly inaugurated visitor's center. Read here the letter received from Deputy Director-General Ahuva Zaken. In the photo: Malka Melamed and Zelina Ben Gershon, volunteer members of the Tourist Service staff, discussing options for the expansion of tourist services for people with physical disabilities.

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Salute to a Donor
Lee Friedman, a donor and friend of Yad Sarah, traveled to Israel from the States to see for herself the two vehicles she donated. One (pictured) is a unique van that safely transports the wheelchair-bound.

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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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Yad Sarah Employees, Volunteers and Departments Awarded the Mann Prize for Excellence
Read more…

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Yad Sarah Makes its Volunteers Feel Valued
Diary of the volunteer Fayyad Habashi * This series, bringing the inspiring stories of Yad Sarah volunteers, is the creation of volunteer Shekedia Cohen.

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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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Rivka Marchand Guides Tours in Both English and Spanish and Brings Her Special Latin Flair to the Visitor's Center
Meet volunteer Rivka Marchand, who brings a diverse background and much life experience to her job as multi-lingual tour guide at The Yad Sarah Experience. She is part of a very talented and enthusiastic group of English-speaking tour guides who love Yad Sarah and want to tell you all about it!

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Yad Sarah's Ofer Shoshani – A Paradigm of Giving
Yad Sarah has become such a vital part of the cultural fabric of the city of Hadera that one of its own has been selected to light an Independence Day beacon – one of twelve – honoring 125 years since Hadera's founding

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Come take a walk with me
Come take a walk with me around Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem. It is an enchanted place. Follow me and I will show you the magic

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Jerusalem, Har Hatzofim: Volunteering with Satisfaction – and Close to Home
From the diary of volunteer Avraham Ashkenazi * Series producer: Volunteer Shekedia Cohen * Thanks also to branch director Aryeh Noy, who shares his team's impressions with the readers of Yad Sarah News

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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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Love Comes to the Shikumon
Chemda and Amos met at Yad Sarah's Day Rehabilitation Center in Beer Sheva, and decided to get married! Our "family" is elated over this first-time event * Story by Miriam Kopeika

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The Geriatric Dental Clinic: More Room for More Patients
Clinic director Dr. Tamar Kartin-Gabbay (in photo): The clinic combines professionalism, a warm welcome, and moderate fees

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Better Than Pills and Therapy
Dalia Lahav, a member of Pesek Zman (time out) club, talks with volunteer Ora Maloul, reporter of Yad Sarah internet site

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HOME HOSPITAL-IZATION MORE POPULAR
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reports

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