Dr. Yossi Hadar z”l, NATAL’s co-Founder, was born in Belgium in 1946 to parents who had survived the Holocaust. He and his family sailed for Israel on the ship Theodore Herzl, but were captured by the British and sent to a transit camp in Cyprus. They immigrated to Israel on November 29, 1947. During the country’s formative years, Yossi and his family lived in the shacks of the Givat Shmuel transit camp and leter settled in Kiryat Israel. Yossi studied medicine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and joined the army in 1971 where he served as the Golan Heights Regional Physician.
During the Yom Kippur War, Yossi, together with a paramedic and two other soldiers were nearly taken captive by Syrian forces however escaped at the last moment. Throughout the rest of the war Yossi worked to save lives by operating on wounded soldiers under combat conditions. The Yom Kippur War left a deep impression on Yossi and he suffered from symptoms of PTSD as a result. Together with the trauma his family suffered due to the Holocaust, Yossi was influenced to study psychiatry and he completed his internship at the Shalvata Mental Health Center in Hod Hasharon.
During the First Lebanon War Yossi served in the army reserves and headed the Airborne Medical Unit. Yossi held the Eli Weisel Chair for Holocaust Research at Bar Ilan University and headed the Psychotherapy program there for four years. In addition, he was a playwright, poet and author.
Approximately two weeks before the official opening of NATAL in June 1998, Yossi was diagnosed with severe leukemia and passed away. He did not live to see his vision materialize and grow into an established institution, as he had dreamed. Yossi is survived by his wife and three children.
May his memory be a blessing.