Ralph Milavsky was born on February 13th, 1947, in Stockholm, Sweden. He grew up with his cousins and learned to play the piano in his childhood, though he was not particularly fond of it. As a teenage boy, Ralph was exposed to jazz music and grew to appreciate it. After getting divorced from his first wife, with whom he has two daughters and five grandchildren, he met his second wife, to whom he has been married for 34 years. Ralph worked for 36 years in a mortgage bank for farmers as an accountant, even though he had no academic experience in the field. He retired four years earlier than expected and moved to Israel with his wife.
Ralph’s social worker recommended he join the Ten Kavod program. The program pairs him with a United Hatzalah EMT volunteer, Tal Moskowitz, who visits him weekly to alleviate his loneliness and check his vital signs. Ralph is thrilled with the program, saying, “It’s truly wonderful. Tal makes sure I take my medication and checks my vital signs, and it’s a great feeling. Every meeting is special to me. We do unique things I wouldn’t have done by myself, and Tal makes me very happy. We both enjoy music and do activities involving it. I learn a lot from Tal in a technical and professional way. I really want to emphasize how much I like and enjoy the Ten Kavod project and am very happy I joined.”
Tal Moskowitz is an EMT who works at Terem and is also a nursing student. He volunteers for the Ten Kavod project through IMPACT, a scholarship program for discharged combat soldiers.
He explains, “Many elderly people feel lonely both mentally and physically, and visiting them weekly can have a huge impact on their health and well-being. My meetings with Ralph are very special, and they usually begin with me checking his vital signs before going for a walk and talking about their week. We also discuss music and consult each other on different topics. One of our most memorable moments was when we were at Ralph’s apartment, and he struggled to write a melody on music papers. As someone who likes and has experience with electronic music but didn’t learn to read or write musical notes, I found myself opening the musical software I work with to write down the melody. Ralph reminds me that music is very powerful and can connect people of all ages. Ralph also emphasizes that music can be created at any age, whether it’s done professionally or as a hobby.”