Thanks to recent technological advances, every person in the country can sign up
for Yad Sarah’s immediate communication service for a nominal, one-time fee. The
voluntary organization said on Sunday that any landline or cellular phone can be
used to press a digit and call Yad Sarah’s 24- hour-a-day communications service
When the phone connection is made, the subscriber’s details
– including address and health condition – appear on the computer
The most common request – which occurs 80 percent of the time –
is for help from a doctor, a relative or someone else, although cases like these
are not necessarily emergencies, said Arye Kahan, the director of the service.
Adult children of the subscribers also feel confidence that whenever their
parents need help, there will be someone who will hear them, Kahan
At the same time, Yad Sarah continues to offer emergency beepers to
be worn on the wrist for those who want them at a minimal fee. At present, there
are 18,000 such subscribers.
Initially, the service was for the elderly
and the disabled, but now it can be provided to anybody who feels he or she
needs it. Until now, Yad Sarah volunteers had to come to the subscriber’s home
and install equipment to broadcast via a Bezeq landline to the center, and this
was relatively expensive.
But today, it can be done without
“We changed the system,” explained Yad Sarah spokesman David
“Now, immediately after registration, the service
Instead of the devices that had to be installed at home,
subscribers for the wrist-worn device can purchase a special phone at Bezeq
stores around the country that broadcasts to the Yad Sarah headquarters a
request for help.
More than 20,000 subscribers around the country are
hooked up to the Jerusalem-based service, which, unlike private companies, does
not charge a monthly fee or fines for subscribers who call often.
center is run by volunteers, including civilian and national service volunteers,
who are trained to deal with emergencies. They also know how to listen to a
subscriber and thereby to relieve the person’s loneliness, at least for a while.
Non-Jews work on Shabbat and holidays.
If the new technology leads to
more subscribers, the organization will obtain more volunteers, Rothner said.