In a touching tribute to their late daughter Gilat, who passed away in 2008 from a rare disease, Jerusalem residents Tali and Yair Eisenmann donated over 1300 dolls to United Hatzalah last week. These dolls, resembling Gilat, who died at the age of 11 in her native Holland, will be utilized by United Hatzalah volunteers to provide solace to young children and their families during medical emergencies across the country.

Motivated by their profound loss and their desire to honor their daughter’s memory, Tali and Yair Eisenmann established the Gilat Foundation in 2009. The foundation is devoted to offering interactive children’s theater in Holland’s hospitals, bringing joy and light to young patients who spend a significant portion of their lives confined to medical facilities, much like Gilat did.

The Eisenmanns symbolically cutting the ribbon on the dolls 1 1024x683 1
The Eisenmanns symbolically cutting the ribbon on the dolls

Inspired by the impactful work of United Hatzalah since their aliyah in 2020, the Eisenmann family recently extended their commitment to supporting children’s well-being by donating a collection of dolls to the organization. The dolls, donning United Hatzalah vests with Gilat’s name, will be used by volunteers to provide comfort and support to young children when treating them or their relatives. Tali Eisenmann also recently completed the organization’s EMT course and now volunteers as a first responder.

“Gilat was a young girl who displayed unwavering strength while battling a rare disease, leaving a lasting impact on those who knew her,” said Tali Eisenmann. “Her innate kindness and empathy towards others, regardless of their backgrounds, deeply resonated. Despite her own health struggles, Gilat sought to uplift overlooked children and treated everyone with equal care and compassion. United Hatzalah, as an organization that empowers women and volunteers from diverse backgrounds, symbolizes the values Gilat lived by.”

In addition, the Eisenmanns contributed over 40 “smart” child & infant CPR manikins, which can connect to a phone app to monitor the effectiveness of chest compressions, thus providing more advanced CPR training for United Hatzalah EMTs.

The Gilat dolls 1 1024x683 1
The Gilat dolls

On Wednesday last week, Yair and Tali Eisenmann and Yair’s mother Shoshanna, visited United Hatzalah’s headquarters in Jerusalem to officially present the dolls, which will be particularly useful for members of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU), who specialize in providing psychological first aid.

“Among children, traumatic events are intensified by feelings of helplessness, the inability to comprehend what is happening, and the lost sense of security,” explained Hadas Rucham, the head of training at the PCRU, emphasizing the significance of the Gilat dolls. “A doll serves as a bridging, projective tool that allows us, as first responders, to quickly establish a sense of kinship and trust in the field. Through these dolls, children can express their inner world, which aids in their coping with the traumatic experience.”

“We are very grateful to the Eisenmann family for their generous donation,” added United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer. “United Hatzalah is privileged to receive support from our friends in various ways, and this is one of the most moving donations I can recall. There is no doubt that Gilat’s memory will continue to live on through the countless children in Israel who will be helped by these dolls.”