A step in the right direction

Yad Sarah’s iconic outdoor staircase is undergoing maintenance.

Yad Sarah 521 (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Yad Sarah 521
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Anyone who has passed by Yad Sarah’s national headquarters on Jerusalem’s Herzl Boulevard recently has probably wondered why the circular, 150-step exterior staircase built for an emergency exit is under green cloth wrapping.
The 32-meter-tall, 50-ton “sculpture” designed by artist Yuval Rimon is known as the Halili Steps, as the work of art was financed by the Halili family in London. Dr. David Halili is well known as a philanthropist and a collector of Islamic art who has lent many pieces from his collection to the Israel Museum.
The design is based on the motif of open hands – representing all the helping hands of people who volunteer for and donate to Yad Sarah. The voluntary organization lends out medical equipment and provides a wide variety of services to the sick, elderly, disabled and needy in 100 branches around the country.
Thirteen years have passed since Yad Sarah dedicated the staircase.
The organization’s management felt it was time to examine the outdoor staircase to make sure weather and time had not weakened it. Thus, under the cloth, workmen directed by experts are removing the existing layer of paint to determine if there is rust – using a spray that will not hurt the galvanized metal – and if any parts need to be strengthened by screws or soldering before it gets repainted with two coats of epoxy to prevent corrosion.
The work will take over a month more to be completed, and it will look better than ever, Yad Sarah promises. •