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Yad Sarah Mobilizes Volunteers in Israel

Yad Sarah is Israel’s largest volunteer-led social services agency, with more than 7,000 volunteers operating across over 120 branches to lend medical equipment, facilitate healthcare and homecare, and support the elderly and victims of domestic violence, among other projects.
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November 8, 2023
Soldiers and civilians at-Yad Sarah’s busy Beilinson hospital branch

Within the wake of Hamas’s devastating attacks, and following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of war, Yad Sarah is rallying to provide vital assistance to Israel’s most vulnerable. 

Yad Sarah is Israel’s largest volunteer-led social services agency, with more than 7,000 volunteers operating across over 120 branches to lend medical equipment, facilitate healthcare and homecare, and support the elderly and victims of domestic violence, among other projects.

The organization has launched an Emergency Wartime Relief Campaign to maintain access to life-saving equipment and services.

Now, the organization has launched an Emergency Wartime Relief Campaign to maintain access to life-saving equipment and services, evacuate residents from the south; and provide transportation of equipment to the wounded, among other vital services. Yad Sarah is offering support from its branches around the country. It opened three new branches, one near the Dead Sea, to serve evacuees resettled there.

A Yad Sarah equipment container ready for transport

Yad Sarah is also working to recruit reinforcement volunteers, including calling on seniors in Israel to volunteer as operators in its Emergency Call Center. As of Oct. 13, Yad Sarah’s volunteer drivers had delivered $600,000 of medicine, free of charge to individuals in the south and evacuated almost 100 residents to safer areas. As of Oct. 15, its volunteers had delivered emergency aid to 23,000 wounded individuals and, as of Oct. 16, helped over 1,000 soldiers. Its Frenkel Emergency Center in Jerusalem has become a resource to help locate missing persons and provide initial psychological assistance, and is treating evacuees free of charge.

Most recently, amid Israel’s internal displacement crisis, Yad Sarah has opened the doors of its fully accessible rehabilitation and wellness hotel, 33 Yirmiyahu, to hundreds of individuals from threat areas in Israel’s south and north. 

“As a second-generation Yad Sarah volunteer, I have seen firsthand how the organization provides life-saving medical and social support wherever, whenever and to whomever needed within society in Israel,” said Philip Bendheim, a director of Yad Sarah’s International Board of Overseers and Friends of Yad Sarah. “Now, Yad Sarah’s services are more critical than ever as the country largely shifts from the initial emergency response to facilitating long-term treatment and rehabilitation for the tens of thousands affected to ensure that life goes on.”

Yad Sarah was established in 1976. A survey by the Dahaf Institute estimating that one in every two families in Israel has made use of its services. The nonprofit has been honored with the Israel Prize, and in 2005 became the first Israeli-Jewish organization to be appointed as an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Friends of Yad Sarah, which is headquartered in New York, represents the organization and its life-changing work to its network of supporters in the USA and internationally.  

“We have always been driven by a noble goal, to bring ‘help and hope to the people of Israel.’ At a time of such strife and suffering, that mission is now more urgent than ever,” said Adele Goldberg, executive director at Friends of Yad Sarah.

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