In a tribute to their late daughter, Gilat, who passed away in 2008 from a rare disease, Jerusalem residents Tali and Yair Eisenmann donated more than 1,300 dolls to United Hatzalah. Resembling Gilat, who died at the age of 11 in her native Holland, the dolls will be utilized by United Hatzalah volunteers to provide solace to young children and their families during medical emergencies.
Yair and Tali Eisenmann established the Gilat Foundation in 2009 to honor their daughter’s memory. It is devoted to offering interactive children’s theater in Holland’s hospitals for young patients who spend a significant portion of their lives confined to medical facilities, much like Gilat did.
The couple was inspired by the work of United Hatzalah since their aliyah in 2020. 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.
The couple also contributed 40-plus “smart” child and infant CPR manikins that can connect to a phone app to monitor the effectiveness of chest compressions, providing more advanced CPR training for United Hatzalah EMTs.
The Eisenmanns and Yair’s mother, Shoshanna Eisenmann, visited United Hatzalah headquarters in Jerusalem last week to present the dolls, to be used by members of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) who specialize in 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, head of training at the PCRU. “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.”