Ben Tzion Eylon was born in Jerusalem in 1937 and moved to Tel Aviv with his parents when he was a teenager. Thirty years ago, he moved to Ramat HaSharon where he has been living ever since. Throughout his life, he worked as an electrician and in the diamond industry.
About six months ago, he got a call from Gabi Vitale, who was assigned to become his new visitor as part of the Ten Kavod program. Through the program, EMTs and volunteers with first aid training visit elderly citizens weekly to give them a basic medical check-up and reduce their sense of isolation. Gabi is an architect and an entrepreneur, and lives in Ramat HaSharon with her husband and three children. “I’ve always been sensitive to senior citizens and especially to the issue of their loneliness,” she explains. “But when my father passed away two years ago, I realized even more how important it is to respect elderly people and spend time with them while they are with us.”
When Gabi visits Ben Tzion, after checking his basic vital signs, they chat about various topics, from everyday life challenges to sports, politics, and global issues. “Our conversations are always interesting. I don’t like to talk only about my problems or hers,” Ben Tzion says. “We talk about the world in general.” The pair have developed a real relationship, and Gabi makes sure to give Ben Tzion a gift before the holidays. “He was very moved when I brought him a honey cake before Rosh Hashana,” she recalls.
“Gabi is truly a great person, and I really enjoy spending time with her,” Ben Tzion says about his weekly visitor. “She has an impressive career and three children to raise, and yet she makes time to visit me.” Ben Tzion will soon be moving to Rishon LeZion to be closer to his sister. “I was sad to find out that Gabi won’t be able to visit me anymore,” he says. “I will greatly miss her visits.”
The architect, summing up the meaning of her participation in the program, says: “I have volunteered in different frameworks in the past, helping other people is in my blood. It is also important to my children’s education. They see that their mother takes time off her busy schedule in order to help other people. I think it makes a real impression on them and hope it will help them become better people, I know that volunteering to help others has made me a better person.”
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