May 2nd, 2019 by Camrin Parnell
This year, a unique effort at Shaare Zedek Medical Center has helped 124 Holocaust survivors realize their rights.
The Minister for Senior Citizens, started a new initiative five years ago called “Yechidat Segula” (literally translated as the “Unique Unit”) aimed at helping elderly people being released from the hospital to understand their rights and the assistance available to them. Shaare Zedek Medical Center was selected as one of the first hospitals to be part of this effort.
The staff of Yechidat Segula decided to make a concerted effort to inform Holocaust survivors of their rights and how to take advantage of them. Ms. Sarah Noam, Head of Shaare Zedek’s Administrative Services Department explained, “Many Holocaust survivors are not aware of these rights. When patients register in our admissions department, based on their birth date and country of birth certain patients are flagged. The names are then forwarded to the volunteers of the Yehidat Segula who contact patients to find out if they are survivors of the Holocaust. If yes, the volunteers explain to them their rights and instruct them how to take advantage of these rights”.
Ms. Yona Tamary, the Head of our Yechidat Segula explains, “While some survivors are aware of certain benefits for which they are eligible, many are not aware of everything and it can make a very significant difference. We are constantly trying new approaches to try and identify more people who may not realize all the benefits available to them.”\
One Yechidat Segula volunteer shared, “That moment when you are sitting and talking with someone and they realize that they can have extra assistance– it is amazing. It is wonderful to see how relieved they are and how such benefits can really help them.”