President Isaac Herzog hosted the 48th annual awards of the President’s Prize for Volunteerism at his home on Wednesday, his first time since taking office last July.
Created by an initiative of the Presidential Institution in collaboration with the National Council for Volunteering, the award is given annually in Israel to 12 individuals or organizations who have excelled in their field or whose notable actions have made a unique contribution to society through volunteer work.
The winners were announced one month prior to this week's ceremony. Among recipients of the 2022 award are Yossi Erblich, the chairman and founder of L’ma'anchem (for your sake), an organization that provides medical counseling, guidance and accompaniment to patients on a voluntary basis.
Yossi Erblich's impact
Erblich, 45, a father of six who resides in Bnei Brak, has been providing medical counseling on a voluntary basis for more two decades. Several years ago he founded the L’ma'anchem organization, which has since assisted thousands of patients through medical counseling.
He established the "Doctors in the Reserves" project for patients in Israel and abroad who cannot afford professional medical guidance, advice and accompaniment. He accompanies each patient personally throughout his medical procedure. During the corona pandemic, the organization was active in raising awareness of the importance of vaccines.
Erblich also founded the L’ma'anchem-Bnei Brak school, to rehabilitate children with special needs. His involvement in the institution ranges from the diagnosis stage by specialists to the acquisition of critical equipment.
Most recently, against the backdrop of Russia's ongoing invasion on Ukraine, Erblich established an assistance center for refugees who flee to Israel, arranging continuing treatment at Clalit's hospitals.
Erblich expressed excitement to receive the award.
"Recognition of L’ma'anchem’s outstanding activities is vital for the international and public ramifications because we are continuously deepening our connections with leading medical centers around the world."Yossi Erblich
"I accept the award with great excitement on behalf of those who truly deserve it – the Israeli doctors who are at the forefront of saving lives, and who devotedly and lovingly give of their time and talent for our patients," he said.
"Recognition of L’ma'anchem’s outstanding activities is vital for the international and public ramifications because we are continuously deepening our connections with leading medical centers around the world," Erblich said. "I am grateful to the president of the state, Mr. Yitzhak Herzog, and the members of the Advisory Committee for selecting our organization."
Additional 2022 winners
Another winner of this year's President's Prize for Volunteerism is The Ramon Foundation, which was founded in 2010 by Rona Ramon, the widow of Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. The couple's son, Asaf Ramon, an Israeli Air Force pilot, died during training in September 2009. The foundation is dedicated to both of them.
The foundation offers support for space education and operates nationwide with various activities including the participation of Israeli Air Force pilots in meetings with at-risk youth.
Additional winners of Presidential Award for Volunteerism 2022 are: Nina A. Weiner, founder of the ISEF Foundation, which supports and helps children from disadvantaged communities; The Bishvil Hahayim (On the Path to Life) organization which works to prevent suicide and helps family members of those who commit it; and the ERAN association which provides anonymous emotional first aid (Ezra Rishonah Nafsheet) by telephone and Internet.