Why the name, “Sarahs Place”?

We were advised of course to follow the conventional pattern and name the foundation after a neurological condition. We chose instead “Sarah’s Place” in no small measure because we like the way it sounds, soft and inviting, not cold or clinical. Sounds matter.

The foundation is named after Susan’s great-grandmother, Zlateh Werechson, whose Hebrew name was Sarah. Before Susan’s discovery of her condition, she knew little about her great-grandmother. As Susan reached out to her family in Israel, beginning to learn of the patterns that would suggest the genetic base of GPS, she came to know more about Sarah who immigrated to Israel from Russia in 1904 and was known in the Jerusalem community as “the Moscobi.”

At the time Israel was under Turkish rule, Sarah had a way with people and was soon interceding with the authorities successfully on behalf of those in need. She ran a coffee grinding shop in Jerusalem which was a very popular gathering place for all members of the then, as now, quite diverse Jerusalem scene. People from all parts of that community warmed to Sarah. The Russian Orthodox Christian clergy, for example, often visited Sarah at home, stopping by for a cup of tea and a chat. Sarah was bold and courageous, smuggling food to an isolated Jewish settlement, warning others of the arrival of British troops and using her connections to helop those in trouble with whatever government authority was in charge at any given time.

Sarah was a person who prized and used her inner sense. One story will make this point. Sarah had a daughter-in-law she did not favor. She was kind to this daughter-in-law but not fully accepting. Then Sarah had one of her dreams. In this one, the dead parents of her daughter-in-law came and asked her to “take care of our child.” Sarah always listened to her dreams, so she changed her attitude to her daughter-in-law the day after her dream. This daughter-in-law died young. Sarah lamented for the rest of her life that she had begrudged this woman full acceptance for any period of time and was thankful that she had corrected her ways before it was too late to have made amends. Norma reports Sarah had many dreams she considered important. Sarah gained strength from her big heart and sixth sense, and she used that strenght to aid others, despite the risks to herself, which were at times substantial. We thought she deserved this tribute. Susan is named after Zlateh (Sarah) and shares her Hebrew name.

The name, “Sarah’s Place,” also is intended to conjure Sarah of Genesis, the wife of Abraham. Sarah endured much suffering and many barren years before finally giving birth to Isaac. She embodies for us: patience and faith.

These are the reasons we chose the name, “Sarah’s Place.”