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Bringing A Smile On Their Face – Ten Kavod Jerusalem: The Story of Yisrael Kama and Simcha and Yosef Oren
Simcha Oren was born in 1942 in Iran to a large family. Due to hard living conditions, Simcha and her family fled Iran to Israel just before the Iranian revolution. Simcha lived in Jerusalem with her family, and later on, married her husband Yosef Oren, and together they had 7 children and 10 grandchildren. Simcha was a housewife while Yosef provided for the family. He passed away 6 months ago.
About a year ago, as part of the Ten Kavod program, United Hatzalah offered Simcha and Yosef to receive a weekly visit from an EMT in order to monitor their physical health and reduce their sense of loneliness. They accepted and Yisrael Kama was chosen to visit the couple. Yisrael is a 44-year-old United Hatzalah EMT who lives in Jerusalem with his wife and 7 children. He works as a physician assistant at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
“I joined the ‘Ten Kavod’ program during the pandemic because I saw many elderly citizens come to the emergency room at Hadassah Ein Kerem not because they were sick, but because they wanted to be admitted to the hospital. They were lonely at home,” Yisrael explained. “I thought that even if I came once a week for a short time to their houses it would make them happy. So I started by calling a few of my patients from the hospital to inquire about their well-being and try to help them with shopping or anything they need while on my way home. Eventually, I heard about ‘Ten Kavod’ and joined the program. Unfortunately, there are many elderly people who do not have family or whose children live far away and cannot meet with them regularly and ask how they are doing. It is important for me to thank United Hatzalah and the Ten Kavod coordinator in Jerusalem Israel Dorfman, for making it possible for me to help these people. ”
During Yisrael’s meetings with Simcha, after the medical check-up, they sit and talk about their daily lives, families, and her health. Yisrael also tries to find hobbies she can busy herself with and helps her with anything she needs. When Yosef was alive Yisrael used to take him out for walks in the neighborhood. Their meetups were so crucial to Yosef that he used to call Yisrael to ask if he can come to visit him more and Yisrael always did his best to come. “It means everything to me to see them have little moments of joy,” he explained.
“From the moment the pandemic started it was rare for my husband to smile but Yisrael always managed to bring a smile to his face,” Simcha said. “He is truly a wonderful man, he helps me with everything I need and makes me smile and laugh during hard times. I cherish our time together very much.’’
“I remember when I brought matzot and wine to give to Yosef and Simcha before Passover,” Yisrael recounted. “They were so happy that there were other people thinking of them, even if it was a small thing, it was very heartwarming.’’
To support the lifesaving work of volunteers such as Yisrael, please click here.