Meet the managers of our newest Yad Sarah branch, dedicated in loving memory to their fathers, and get to know two attorneys who assist in our Yad Riva pro bono legal services division.

Yad Sarah’s 120+ branches impact or help almost every family in Israel. Each branch is managed and operated entirely by volunteers. Zoom in to the Tirat Yehuda and Jerusalem branches and learn about the men and women volunteering their time to provide compassionate care to the people of Israel.

Yonit and Yaakov Zafarir

In early July 2023, the doors officially opened to Yad Sarah’s 124th branch, located in Tirat Yehuda in central Israel. This branch is incredibly important to the volunteer managers, Yonit and Yaakov Zafarir, as it was founded in honor of their respective fathers, Aharon Zafarir and Reuven Schmerling.

“Our fathers’ legacy was one of love for mankind and bringing a smile to people’s faces,” shared Yaakov. “They inspire us to accept and love every person for who they are.”

The Tirat Yehuda branch of Yad Sarah now provides a wide range of equipment lending services — from rehabilitation to respiratory to postnatal care. In addition, individuals can receive Yad Sarah's emergency button and fall sensor services from the branch.

2023 fall yad sarah tirat yehudaBut Yonit and Yaakov go far beyond lending what they have on hand.

One member of the community came in requesting something to help his father, who was suffering from bed sores. Yaakov recommended a specially designed mattress, dubbed the "Eitan" within Yad Sarah since Eitan Dahari, director of logistics, sourced it. The man’s father improved, but found he still suffered from bed sores on his legs. This time, Yaakov called Eitan Dahari directly, and Eitan recommended special boots. He shipped them directly to the family.

Another time, about an hour before Shabbat, Yaakov and Yonit’s son received a phone call from a woman he knows from his youth movement. She told him that her family had invited an acquaintance of theirs, a lonely elderly man with cancer, to a Friday night dinner at their house. The man refused the invite because their house was a bit far from the synagogue and he didn’t use a car on Shabbat. Yaakov and his son immediately took a wheelchair from the branch and brought it to this man, and then personally wheeled him to the synagogue and then to the host’s home. They also joined the Shabbat meal and then wheeled the man back to his house.

These stories are in addition to the “regular” ways Yaakov and Yonit help the community through the Yad Sarah branch — like providing equipment for Martin, an 80-year-old retiree, who was walking in the botanical garden in Jerusalem and tripped over the branch of a tree, breaking his ankle. The hospital would only let him go home if he had an electric scooter and a wheelchair waiting for him, and Yaakov and Yonit made it happen. Martin used the scooter and wheelchair for about a month. When the orthopedist saw that the fracture was healing, Martin returned the equipment to Yad Sarah and took an air- cast boot instead.

Yonit and Yaakov know that their fathers would be proud of the Yad Sarah brand of compassion and care that extends to all the people of Israel.

Attorney Haim Karminyan

Haim Karminyan, a former manager of a large bank branch in Jerusalem, helps elderly Yad Sarah clients with monetary issues as part of Yad Riva, the organization’s legal aid bureau.

Miriam, a 78-year-old retiree, turned to Yad Riva and Haim after her bank account was foreclosed, execution proceedings were initiated, and a warning notice was posted on her front door.

Months earlier, Miriam had taken out a loan for her son and signed on as a guarantor for additional loans in her son's name. A retiree with an income that barely got her by, Miriam could not make the loan payments. As a result, the bank promptly transferred the case to its legal department.

Haim was able to help Miriam by contacting the bank manager directly, explaining the situation, and consolidating all the loans and debts with a payment plan that both Miriam and her son could financially handle. The execution proceedings and foreclosures were canceled.

Attorney Oren Peretz

A2023 fall yad sarah oren peretzttorney Oren Peretz was born in Jerusalem, completed his military service in the intelligence unit, was an officer in the Israeli Police Force, and is a certified mediator and arbitrator. Now, he volunteers at Yad Sarah’s Yad Riva.

Yad Riva handles many cases, but Oren often manages those related to financial matters.

For example, Oren recently assisted Geula, a woman in her mid-seventies, who was considering divorce and approached Yad Riva to inquire about her financial rights. Her husband, Nissim, failed to provide Geula access to her finances — no bank account in her name or joint account with her husband. Nissim would give her cash when he needed her to buy something for the children or pay bills for the house.

Over time, she realized that this was not a normal situation. But, upon noticing that Geula was considering filing for divorce, Nissim claimed that there would be no division of assets, since, for all these years, he was the only one who supported the family financially.

Oren explained to Geula what her rights were, and she was shocked to discover that she was entitled to receive half of the value of their shared apartment. However, after many years of financial abuse, she did not know how to manage her own finances and was afraid of getting a divorce from Nissim.

“I don't even know how to withdraw money from an ATM," she explained. "I've never done that."

Seeing Geula’s distress, Oren sent her to counseling at Yad Sarah’s Family Center and referred her for psychological treatment. All the while, he focused on managing the financial aspect of the divorce. Oren and the Yad Sarah family empowered Geula financially and emotionally to take control of her life.

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