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Yecheskel Herman in Maintenance Workshop in Yad Sarah

Thanks to volunteering, I live

Ezekiel Herman receives a chanukiah made from parts of wheelchairs in recognition of his many years of volunteerism at Yad Sarah repairing wheelchairs.
Ezekiel Herman with Uri Lupolianski and the chanukiah composed of wheelchair parts (Photo: Yad Sarah)

Menorah from Wheelchair Parts Volunteer Token of Appreciation

As a token of appreciation for the activities of Ezekiel Herman (92), a Holocaust survivor and the oldest volunteer in the Yad Sarah organization, he received a menorah composed of wheelchair parts, chairs that he used to repair daily in recent years. “If I had stayed home I would have rotted,” he explains.

Posted: 16.12.20, 11:29

Oldest Volunteer in Yad Sarah Organization

Ezekiel Herman at work in the Yad Sarah workshop repairs wheelchairs
Ezekiel Herman – Volunteer at Yad Sarah (Photo: Yad Sarah)

Yehezkel Herman, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, is the oldest volunteer in the Yad Sarah organization. Before the Coronavirus, Herman came to Yad Sarah every morning to repair wheelchairs.

This week, in recognition of his continued activity, Rabbi Uri Lupolinski, the founder of Yad Sarah, presented him with a menorah composed entirely of parts from wheelchairs.

Where does the 92-year-old draw the mental strength and power to constantly come to the workshop at Yad Sarah and repair wheelchairs?

Ezekiel Herman standing in Yad Sarah workshop holding a pair of crutches
Ezekiel Herman - Volunteer at Yad Sarah ( Photo: Yad Sarah )

“Yad Sarah is what keeps me strong. If I had stayed home I would have rotted,” he explains. “I tell people, ‘Just don’t stay home.’ Volunteering is what brings us back to life. All the people around me at the Yad Sarah workshop are volunteers who come here every day. Why do they do that? Because when you contribute to the community, and we all have to contribute to the community, – you donate and you receive.”

Ezekiel's Story

“I was a little boy in 1939 when the Germans entered Poland,” says Herman. “There was a feeling of severe fear around me and we always hid in the house. My mother could not withstand this and died. My father said we must flee – through the villages.”

Herman does not hold back when he talks about his mother – as tears well up, he describes a tormenting journey of walking for hundreds of kilometres over ten days of terror. “We continued to walk in extreme cold and rain, because we could see from a safe distance, along the road trains passed full of Jews. Trains traveled full – and returned empty. Trains on the way to death,” he recalls sadly.

Herman survived and arrived in Israel. He married Miriam, started a family and enjoyed raising children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"Just Do Not Stay Home"

Together with Herman, there are about 7,000 volunteers at Yad Sarah who help half a million people in Israel every year around the clock and provide clients with equipment for respiratory assistance, increased mobility, home rehabilitation and more.

120 Yad Sarah branches are situated around the country, making medical aid accessories on loan available free of charge to any applicant. Medical equipment allows a person with functional difficulties to stay at home, in the arms of his family.

This article, originally published on YNET, Yediot Aharonoth, has been translated to English.

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