Our Story

When Yad LaKashish was founded in 1962, the State of Israel was only 14 years old.

Jerusalem was divided and besieged with social and economic challenges. There was no time to think about how to help the elderly, let alone how they could contribute to the young state.

Myriam Mendilow, a school teacher, was distraught by the elderly’s loss of self-respect as well as by her students’ disrespectful attitude toward them. She decided to take action. 

Inspired by one of the pillars of tzedaka, helping others help themselves, she opened a small bookbinding workshop where eight local elderly men were trained in the craft. Local schools brought tattered books from their libraries to the workshop, and for a small fee, the elderly rebound the books. The children started to bond with the elderly, and soon the group of beggars rediscovered that even in their old age, they had something to contribute to society. Almost 60 years later, Yad LaKashish has expanded to 10 workshops and nearly 300 elderly.
For 27 years, Myriam led the organization with vision and passion. Upon her passing, Nava Ein Mor was selected to continue Myriam’s mission. Under her direction, Yad LaKashish expanded its local and global impact; the number of elderly artisans doubled and acquisition of the campus in which Yad LaKashish operates was completed. After 28 years of dedicated leadership, Nava retired and in December 2017 and passed the baton to Ariela Schwartz-Zur, who was her deputy director for more than a decade.

Yad LaKashish is proud to have pioneered a model of positive aging, and nearly 60 years later we continue to create a space where the elderly can remain active, contributing members of society.

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