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Friends of Yad Sarah Blog


My father did not take risks lightly. Born in Poland and raised in Israel, he was reluctant to leave his comfortable (if unglamorous) job with the Israeli electric company for something bigger—and ris...

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Today, nearly 45 years after it was founded, Yad Sarah now has 100+ branches throughout Israel staffed by more than 7,000 volunteers. Yad Sarah's annual operating budget is financed almost c...

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Inside Yad Sarah -- Spring 2017 issue!

The Spring 2017 issue of "Inside Yad Sarah" is finally here!  In this issue, we're celebrating Yad Sarah's 40th anniversary -- a great story about a tiny lending service has grown into Israel's largest volunteer staffed organization.  We're also profiling Dr. Shlomit Lehman, the director of Yad Sarah's Family Center, and her important work with individuals and families dealing with domestic violence.  This issue will also tell you more about Yad Sarah home-based services, such as Hospital-to-Home and the mobile dental clinic, reaching out to the impoverished homebound elderly with state of the art dental care.  You can also read more about Yad Sarah's unique Tourist Services, making it possible or easier for people with special needs to travel to Israel.  Enjoy -- and let us know what you think at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Yad_Sarah_Newsletter2017_FINAL.pdf

Op-Ed:  Yad Sarah has a prescription for US health care system

The United States might be able to learn from Yad Sarah's unique model for home health care delivery.   Yad Sarah works to give people in Israel access to medical resources in a way that ultimately reduces stress on the national medical system while increasing the quality of care received.  After establishing the Lending Service, Yad Sarah's largest and most basic service initiative, the organization followed with a home hospitalization program, enabling people to accept a timely hospital discharge and return home to the care of family or friends.  Not only does the home hospitalization program help make patients more comfortable in their own surroundings, it also addresses the chronic overcrowding of Israeli hospitals and saves the Israeli economy nearly $400 million per annum. To read the full Op-Ed from the Jewish Journal, use this link:  http://jewishjournal.com/opinion/216234/israels-yad-sarah-prescription-u-s-health-care-system/

With Yad Sarah, every day can be Independence Day

Yad Sarah's Lending Service is the organization's largest service, making health and home care equipment available at 100+ branches all over Israel.  With more than 150 different kinds of home care equipment available, Yad Sarah makes it possible for people with special needs to remain as independent as possible, inside and outside the home.   Since durable medical and home care equipment is not a benefit provided by Israeli health insurance, Yad Sarah loans equipment to anyone in need, enabling people to cope with illness and injury at home and in the community among family, friends, and everyday surroundings.  The provision of medical equipment facilitates a timely hospital discharge, significantly reducing health care costs as well as exposure to institution-based infections.  The Exhibition and Guidance Center, located in Jerusalem, Beersheva, Modiin, Haifa, Raanana, Rishon LeZion permit people and their family caregivers to review mobility and home care equipment options and receive...

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Volunteers help families of the fallen mark Yom HaZikaron

On Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, Yad Sarah volunteers gathered at Har Herzl Military Cemetery to help family members of fallen soldiers visit the graves of their loved ones, and Yad Sarah wheelchair-accessible vans brought people to and from the cemetery.  #BecauseofYadSarah all Israelis could honor this special day.

Beersheva area clients need accessible transportation

A gift of $28,000 is needed to complete the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van for Yad Sarah in Beersheva.   This large branch, the flagship branch for Israel's south, serves Beersheva and the surrounding communities with equipment loans and repair, homebound outreach, an Exhibition Center, Yad Riva Legal Services for the elderly, and Day Rehabilitation. The van is needed to enable the Day Rehab program to accommodate additional clients in the program.   Rotary of Beersheva has committed 100,000 NIS to the project and has secured a match of 100,000 NIS from Rotary International.  An additional gift of $28,000 is needed to help purchase the van.  The donor will share the dedication with the Rotary group, and names will be listed on the doors of the van in English and Hebrew.  Interested in this unique tribute?  Contact us:  1-866-YAD-SARAH or via email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     

We all want to be remembered on holidays.

Every year, Friends of Yad Sarah raises money to send Purim baskets to the isolated and homebound in Israel, hand-delivered by volunteers.  For many recipients, it is their only moment of Purim celebration and truly lights up their lives.  They feel remembered, cherished and included.   This year, generous friends in the USA spread joy to the homebound and isolated in the Beersheva area by sponsoring over 150 Purim baskets.    Purim is a time of charity, miracles and Jewish unity. What better way to be a part of these ideas than giving Mishloach Manot to Israel’s lonely and vulnerable?

Helmsley Grant to Yad Sarah will expand Home Hospital Program and Mobile Dental Clinics in Israel's Periphery

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced two grants totaling $1.5 million to Yad Sarah for two projects that will expand access to healthcare for residents of Israel’s periphery. The first grant for $750,000 will support the expansion of Yad Sarah’s Home Hospital program in Israel’s southern periphery. The second grant, also for $750,000, will support the expansion of Yad Sarah’s mobile dental clinics to homebound elderly and disabled people in Israel’s northern and southern peripheries who cannot access affordable dental care. Yad Sarah has pledged to raise a matching sum to assure unsurpassed service to the residents of the periphery. Yad Sarah’s Home Hospital program provides equipment and services for patients at home. Started as a pilot program in 2014, the Home Hospital program has distributed thousands of electric beds, patient hoists, and other related equipment to patients seeking home-based recuperation and rehabilitation. With the Helmsley Charitable...

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Yad Sarah's Family Center expands domestic violence treatment services to Israel's southern region

Yad Sarah announced the opening of a Family Center in the western Negev to treat victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It is the second location for the program, which has been widely recognized for its success in addressing the complexities and sensitivities of domestic violence. “We work very closely with community leadership to address this issue in all of its complexities,” said Dr. Shlomit Lehman, who directs the Center. “There is a huge need for these services, which is why we were asked to open another center to serve people in the south, many of whom also suffer from the trauma and disruptions of the ongoing Gaza conflict.” The organization’s Family Center in Jerusalem, which operates out of the Yad Sarah House, has been successful in empowering women, men and children to cope with abuse and heal from the trauma and pain of domestic abuse. The new location will open...

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Netanya branch plans for expansion

A plan is in place to expand the Netanya branch, bringing additional Yad Sarah services to the Netanya community and enabling expansion of existing programs.   Located in a residential neighborhood, the branch will be building up, adding a third floor and planning for a possible fourth floor in the future.   For the Day Rehabilitation Program, the renovation will enable the program to increase the number of participants and involve more volunteers, broaden the range of therapeutic activities, and enable life-enriching social contact.  We plan to increase the capacity of the Lending Service, insuring that volunteers have the resources they need to assist others and provide more space for Yad Sarah's Exhibition Center, helping people understand the options for adaptive equipment and providing guidance on community resources.   The renovation will also add a second elevator to facilitate access for people with special needs.  Office space will be designated for...

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Unleash the Power of Play: Help Yad Sarah care for Israel’s children with special needs

Yad Sarah is raising funds to complete a state-of-the art upgrade to our Play Center – a safe space for carefree play for hundreds of Israel's children with special needs. We have already secured more than half of the funds necessary to realize our vision for the Play Center. We just need to raise $15,000 more. A generous donor is willing to match every donation we receive for this project between now and #GivingTuesday, November 29th. This #GivingTuesday, unleash the power of play. Give Israel's children with special needs a place where they can thrive. Donate Now!  

November 29th is Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the USA) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Yad Sarah celebrates 40 years!

Launched in 1976, Yad Sarah is celebrating its 40th year of providing vital health and home care support services to people of all ages in Israel.  Although Yad Sarah is best known for its extensive Lending Service for medical equipment, the organization's volunteers also provide in-home geriatric dental care, reach out to the homebound, staff our Play Center for children with special needs, and advocate for the elderly at risk for abuse and financial exploitation.   Click on this photo to learn more about the growth of Yad Sarah over the years!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Family Center is a program at Yad Sarah for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence. According to a recent report by a leading Israeli women’s organization, approximately 200,000 women in Israel are victims of domestic violence. The report noted that over the past year, 7,335 women were treated in 89 centers for domestic violence across the country and that some 600,000 children have witnessed domestic violence.[1] More than 15 years ago, Dr. Shlomit Lehman, an experienced therapist with a professional background in treating couples and families affected by domestic violence, approached Yad Sarah with the idea of creating an initiative to help address domestic violence in the haredi community, which had no therapeutic options specifically designed around their needs and beliefs. Dr. Lehman sought to create a program for members of haredi couples and families which would take into account the unique attributes of haredi society, cooperate closely with an...

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Challenging assumptions about aging

Happy 100th birthday to Yehuda Losky, Yad Sarah's oldest volunteer!    At a time when many older people have slowed down, become ill and infirm and are dependent on support services, Yehuda has no plans to retire.  His story is a story of positive aging, remaining active and engaged with the community well into late-life.  "All my life, I have helped people, and as long as I am able to stand on my own two feet, I will continue to do it.  Everybody can volunteer" he said. For the past 27 years, Yehuda can be found every Wednesday at the organization's multi-service center in Rishon LeZion, repairing wheelchairs and other equipment and helping to ensure these items are ready for loan to the next recipient.  He is the "go to" guy for equipment repairs, helping other volunteers and providing guidance in the busy repair shop.  He arrives early on Fridays --...

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Yad Riva:  Advocating for Israel's elderly

Yad Riva was developed in response to the needs of older people overwhelmed by problems late in life. When the elderly are confronted with legal issues, they are frequently overcome by feelings of despair, helplessness, and anxiety. A range of legal problems may face an older person: abuse, money and property concerns, and family conflicts. Yad Riva also helps clients understand and access entitlements like improved health care and adequate living accommodations, all of which has a significant impact on the clients’ quality of life. Due to the high cost of legal representation, disability, health circumstances, intimidation, and/or language limitations, many older people do not have the necessary means to access their rights. Yad Riva exists to provide an essential service that is out of reach for poor older adults in Israel, including people suffering from elder abuse. Yad Riva’s services are provided at no cost to the client. By providing...

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Hospital-based branches link in-patient care and home

Yad Sarah has 12 branches located within hospitals to make it easier for patients and families to borrow equipment upon discharge.   In recent news reports, the issue of hospital overcrowding in Israel is heating up, with noted experts decrying the shift of responsibility for medical care from the government to non-governmental organizations.  This puts pressure on Yad Sarah and its hospital-based branches to help prepare people for a safe transition from in-patient care to home.  A successful transition leads to low rates of readmission, is more comfortable and healthier for the patient and family, and is more cost-effective for the state.  Trained volunteers at Yad Sarah's branch at Rambam Medical Center have helped this branch to become an integral part of the discharge planning at Haifa’s largest regional medical center. “We [Yad Sarah] help people to get out of the hospital easier and faster,” explained volunteer branch manager Nurit Zinger....

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Recuperating at home:  Yad Sarah's Home Hospital program

Yad Sarah’s Home Hospital Program creates an alternative to both long and short-term hospitalization through the provision of equipment tailored to the particular needs of each patient. The program enables individuals to be “hospitalized at home” under the care of family members, whether they are in hospice or suffer from chronic or even short-term illness. The program allows patients, especially those suffering from end stage and chronic illnesses, to remain in the far more dignified and empathic environment of their home; enables them to avoid the risk of hospital sourced infection and generates substantial savings in medical costs.  Participants pay a modest maintenance fee after 3 months.  Yad Sarah staff members visit the homes of participants to check on the maintenance of the equipment and assess for other support services that may be needed.   

"Inside Yad Sarah" - Spring 2016

The Spring issue of "Inside Yad Sarah," is now available.  With a cover story on the power of the creative arts to revitalize lives, the newsletter brings inspiring stories on the progress of individuals coping with illness and injury and the valuable role that the arts have played in guiding their recovery.  We're also proud to report on Yad Sarah's commitment to inclusion, highlighting an effort to involve young people with special needs in equipment repair.  This effort helps the young people to learn new skills, including job readiness.  Click here to view a digital version and let us know what you think!

About Us

Yad Sarah is Israel’s largest volunteer-staffed organization, providing a wide array of compassionate health and home care services for people of all ages, with special programs directed at support for older adults and for children and adults with disabilities.

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Friends of Yad Sarah, Inc., 445 Park Avenue, Suite 1702, New York, NY 10022 USA
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