Daniel Goldman –
Daniel Goldman is a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah and has been part of the Ten Kavod project for the past three years. He lives with his wife and two children in their home in Yokneam.
For Daniel, the Ten Kavod project is very meaningful and can bring a great sense of serenity and satisfaction for both the senior citizen and the volunteer during the visits. “The meeting each week is a time that we are both able to relax, talk about our weeks, and have a break from the stress of whatever is happening in our lives. I have a routine meeting each week with a senior, and it’s comforting for both of us to know that we will have it no matter what. It’s really fun, and once I started visiting, I was able to better understand its importance.”
Three years ago, when Daniel joined the Ten Kavod project, he was visiting an elderly man who sadly passed away after the first year of visits. “We had built a strong connection and it was really heartbreaking when he passed. Each Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m., we had our meeting together. It was something that became part of our weekly routine and we got so used to having it. It was really hard on me when he passed and we no longer had our meetings together.”
“Since then, I’ve been reassigned to another senior in my community. I now meet with Nissim Ben-Ezra each Sunday night, at 6:30 p.m. Even while the coronavirus was rampant, we spoke on the phone instead of meeting in person. We made sure to keep up with our meetings even if they were on the phone because they are so important.”
“Nissim is elderly and cannot hear very well, and suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. During a regular visit I usually start off by taking Nissim’s vital signs, including his sugar levels and blood pressure to make sure that they are stable. We ask each other about our respective week, and Nissim’s wife, Jacqueline, is usually there too. I’ll ask her how she’s doing and we will all have a conversation together, the three of us. We also enjoy consulting with each other for different questions we have. Sometimes we’ll watch television too and talk about what is on.”
“The most emotional and memorable visit for me was our first in-person visit after coming out of the first corona lockdown, during which we were only talking on the phone. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks and it was hard to stay with our masks on and keep social distance. Both Nissim and I were holding ourselves back from running over and hugging each other, but we kept our distance to protect each other. I have a really strong connection with both Nissim and Jacqueline, and with each visit, we are able to connect more.”
“I think that it is so important to have these weekly meetings with the elderly in our communities because it assures them that the younger generation is looking after them. A weekly visit where they know that someone will come and check on them no matter what is so important.”
Nissim and Jacqueline Ben-Ezra –
Nissim and Jacqueline Ben-Ezra made Aliyah from Morocco; Nissim in 1952 and Jacqueline in 1962. For 43 years, Nissim worked as a chef in Haifa. The couple met when Jacqueline was working as a waitress in the same restaurant, and the rest is history. Nissim and Jacqueline got married during the Six-Day War. They have four children and nine grandchildren, who all live in Israel with them.
The Ben-Ezras think that “Ten Kavod” is an incredible project, mostly because of the EMT volunteer, Daniel, who visits them each week. They have high praise for him. “Daniel is an exemplary human being. We love him so much. He treats us both with so much respect.”
Nissim and Jacqueline offered further examples to shed light on what makes “their” volunteer so special. “Even while Daniel was traveling out of the country, he didn’t forget about our weekly meetings and called us on the phone to speak with us. He always tells us that he’s here to help with anything and is willing to come whenever we need him, even in the middle of the night. I have never in my life met someone like him.”
“When Daniel comes to visit on Tuesday nights, he gives Nissim a checkup. We then have lengthy conversations and talk about our week or our day and anything else happening since the last time we’ve spoken. We’ve had really interesting conversations that we all enjoy.”
“We want to thank Daniel for coming each week. It’s so exciting when Daniel comes and his visits make our week so much better. We love him so much, like one of our children,” Nissim and Jacqueline concluded.
Daniel’s Ten Kavod training and equipment were enabled by a grant from The Jewish Federation of Broward County.
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