A Jerusalem nonprofit empowering low income elderly through meaningful work opportunities, essential social and financial benefits as well as promoting positive attitudes towards seniors through inter-generational connections.
Since 1962, Yad LaKashish has provided creative work opportunities to thousands of Jerusalem’s most deserving elderly residents. In our 10 unique workshops, hundreds of elderly artisans create exceptional Judaica, gifts and souvenirs, which are sold in our onsite and online gift shops.
In addition to a monthly stipend, our artisans are entitled to a comprehensive package of social and financial benefits, including a monthly bus pass, a daily nutritious meal, and dental care subsidies.
The high cost of dental care in old age often leads to neglect. Yad LaKashish offers subsidies for dental work to improve oral health and overall physical and mental health. Proper dental care improves quality of life and offers relief from discomfort and pain. As with all of the benefits extended to participants in our program, subsidy for dental care is offered as a “work perk” which empowers our elderly to receive assistance with dignity and pride.
Average annual cost for dental subsidy for one elderly person – $1000
Due to the priority placed on meeting their most basic needs, many low income elderly are unable to afford ‘extras’ such as bus fare and as a result, experience inactivity & social isolation. The free monthly bus pass provided to each artisan covers the daily transportation to and from Yad LaKashish, and beyond that, affords them access to medical treatment, grocery shopping and visits to friends and family.
Bus pass for one elderly person – $30 per month
Bus passes for all 300 elderly people – $9,000 per month
To address the food insecurity experienced by many low income elderly, we offer a daily mid-morning snack and hot nutritious communal lunch. Communal meals not only facilitate increased social interaction but also provide hunger relief on a daily basis and alleviate the cost and burden of food preparation.
Daily cost of one hot lunch – $8
Daily lunch cost for 115 elderly people – $920
As part of their work benefits, the elderly artisans of Yad LaKashish receive monetary gifts in honor of Rosh Hashanah and Passover, in addition to their monthly stipend. The bonus helps lighten the financial burden felt around the holidays and enables them to celebrate with joy and dignity.
Annual cost per person for two holiday bonuses – $280
Annual cost to Yad Lakashish for holiday bonuses – $84,000
Originally from Kolomyja, Poland, in 1941 her family fled their home in an attempt to start a new life in the US. Unfortunately, they were unable to escape Nazi occupation. Yehudit was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust and moved to Israel in 1965. She married but has no children so after the death of her husband she found herself frequently alone.
Yehudit has been coming to Yad LaKashish for 40 years and says that she has found her family here. She works in our textiles workshop as a knitter and has mastered high level skills. She is our most veteran artisan and creates beautiful blankets, baby sweaters, and hats.
I’m really happy to have somewhere to go everyday, a reason to get up in the morning. It means a lot to me.”
Abaje, was born in Chlaga, Ethiopia, in 1934. He and his wife worked together in agriculture and made Aliyah in 2005 with 6 of their 8 children and their families.
In Israel, Abaje never worked. In 2013, Abaje heard about Yad LaKashish from a friend and joined the Paper Mache Department. He learned to sculpt Paper Mache into different shapes ranging from fruit to animals and people.
When asked why he comes to Yad LaKashish, Abaje says, “It is fun to be with my friends, learning new skills and keeping busy. I enjoy the work and make extra money to support my family. The place is good for me;” Every morning when Abaje gets to work, he greets the office staff with a huge smile and a little dance. Yad LaKashish has truly become his happy place.
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