yad lakashish

Wonderful Visit to Yad LaKashish Jerusalem

Yad Lakashish literally means a hand to the aging.

These are the earrings and the necklace I bought at Yad Lakashish Gift Store. You like?

Click on the arrows of the picture gallery to view full-size pictures.


There is never a time I travel to Israel and I am not blown away by their accomplishments. Israel is known and admired for their contributions in every field, technical, medical, artistic, agricultural to name just a few. But there is a field I hope many other countries will adopt from the Israeli exemplar: Their admirable work with all the people who live, at some point in their lives, on the margins of society: The elderly, the frail, the foreigner, the disabled.

Israel’s in a utilitarian culture par excellence.

Utilitarian in every imaginable sense of the term: Not just material but social, cultural and emotional. This virtue lends cosmic proportions and a heart of gold to the country that takes up but a tiny dot on the map of this world wide web.

 Yad Lakashish is one of the embodiments of this virtue (another glowing example is Shekel Institute) . I will start by encouraging you to call and reserve your place for the short tour of the building and the different workshops it houses. This is the way you will get the full measure of the scope of their activities. Then when you visit Yad Lakashish Gift Store, in the same building, you will find yourself investing each beautiful object with the lovely vision of the people who created it.

The tile bearing their name right at the entrance tells the whole story, taken from the Tehilim (Psalms) 71:9 .

Do not Forsake me when I grown old; when my strength fails, Do not Abandon me.

I am quoting Yad Lakashish’ mission statement verbatim, straight from their site, because I couldn’t express it better:

Yad LaKashish is a non-profit organization that empowers and supports nearly 300 elderly Jerusalem residents on a daily basis by providing them with creative work opportunities in our artistic workshops.

Our mission is to empower needy elderly people, to renew their sense of purpose and self-worth, to enable them to feel like valued, integrated members of Israeli society, and to spread the value of respect for the elderly far and wide.
By teaching them to make beautiful handmade craft and Judaica items which are subsequently sold in our onsite gift shop as well as providing a range of support services, Yad LaKashish instills our elderly with a sense of dignity, community and self-sufficiency. We welcome visitors of all ages to meet our elderly in an attempt to create a new generation of advocates for the aged. 
Yad LaKashish/Lifeline for the Old has helped thousands of elderly since it was established in 1962, by implementing the highest degree of tzedakah – helping people help themselves.”

I’m leaving you with this heartwarming little story the guide told us. Please take a look at the picture of the gorgeous necklace of black and white beads. This was not the design the supervising artist instructed the craftsman to execute. Rather, the design was intended to follow a regular and organized pattern. But the craftsman’s hands were shaking, and the black streaks were applied with a hesitant and wavering hand, and the result was…. the gorgeous splotches you see, which make this necklace Yad Lakashish Gift Store’s best seller!