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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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Doing defines the Ashdod branch of Yad Sarah. *Report by Yad Sarah volunteer Michal Boney* In the photo: Branch director Hanna Gontov (second from right) with a group of her volunteers

The meeting was set for ten-thirty on a Sunday morning. The purpose was to report on the activities at the Yad Sarah branch in Ashdod. Frankly, I expected to be greeted by a few yawning clerks, who did not have much to do and would regard my visit as a welcome break in their boring routine. I could not have been more wrong. The small building, on the outskirts of the parking lot on Kibbutz Galuyot Street, was bustling with life. A steady stream of people came in to borrow equipment, and the phone rang constantly. Six dispatchers, along with the secretaries and the maintenance workers, were efficiently dealing with the many requests. The only one with nothing to do was me. "We receive about 18,000 calls a year for medical and rehabilitative equipment, each of which requires registration, reimbursement, maintenance, and more," explains branch manager, Hanna Gontov, sitting in her small and crowded office, which looks more like a storeroom than a manager's room. Hanna radiates warmth and caring. Here there is no unnecessary paperwork, no eligibility committees. There are those who need help – and there are those who want to help them. Now Hanna adds: "There are many other services at the branch, including the lending of equipment to new parents: cribs, scales, and breast milk pumps. I wish that everyone would come in only for these kinds of happy reasons. The branch offers many home and community services including visits to the homes of older people who require support and an attentive ear. The Life Stories Project documents the life stories of Holocaust survivors or other seniors who want to tell their life story and leave it for the next generation. Two volunteer lawyers handle legal service for pensioners and defend their rights. And Hanna is proud of the branch's Caregiver's Support Center, which offers guidance and support for individuals caring for a sick or disabled loved one. They are often alone and need emotional and practical assistance. I ask, "You have a very varied program, and Ashdod is the fifth largest city in the country. How many employees do you have? "Employees?" Hannah smiles at the question. "There are no employees here, only volunteers, 110 volunteers who work in shifts around the clock most days of the week, between 9:30 AM and 7 PM." All are volunteers? "Yes, the dispatchers, the secretaries, the social workers, the maintenance and cleaning workers, and even the lawyers, and of course me, too," Hannah nods, smiling warmly in the direction of her staff that makes giving to so many possible. To get an idea of the nature of the volunteers, she brings me to meet them. "This is our small workshop," she points to the narrow work area of Itzik Bard, who is in charge of maintenance. A pensioner with 36 years of experience in electronics, Itzik decided to contribute his skills to Yad Sarah after his retirement. Itzik is not a man of words, but of deeds, but nevertheless gives us a few minutes of his precious time. "All the equipment that is returned to us must undergo a proper check so that it can pass to the next user," he explains. "Until we established this small work area, the equipment had to travel to the Yad Sarah center in Be'er Sheva. Now we can save the cost of sending it there and back." Thousands of accessories pass here, in a tiny work corner of a few square meters? ... And you check them all yourself? "I do not do the job on my own," replies Itzik Mitzna. "There are a few other talented employees who worked at Israel Aircraft Industries, etc. There is really not much room here, and there is not a large selection of spare parts. We try to do the maximum with what is available. Repairing equipment here, on site, is for the benefit of the users, so they don’t have to wait for equipment to come from Be'er Sheva." And this seems to be the mantra: Doing here. If possible, then do, and as much as possible, to serve as many people as possible. Hannah sees me surveying the modest place, and asks with a half-smile, "Tell me, do you have connections with the municipality? We need to expand.” "No" I shake my head in sorrow. I would be happy to help them expand, and it is clear to me that the expansion of the branch would benefit all who pass through its doors. But when I go outside, I think to myself that from here, from this narrow, crowded, cramped structure, I have come out a much ‘bigger’ person.

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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Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reports

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