Hands of Mercy was founded in 1992 by Vietnam war veteran Yeshi Reinhardt as a humanitarian outreach organization for the purpose of providing comfort and support to the many injured soldiers and victims of terror living throughout Israel. For legal purposes, Hands of Mercy is registered in Israel as a humanitarian organization, the same in Norway, and in America as a non-profit, 501-C3 organization. The initial home of Hands of Mercy was in Jerusalem for nearly two decades. We were assisting victim families throughout the country during events of suicide terrorism and war, including the horrific events of the "Second Intifada".
In 2009, during operation 'Cast Lead Shield', we have moved the main thrust of our work and office to the small war-torn community of Sde’rot, where over 10,000 rockets in 8 years had ’rained down’ from Gaza. We rented a small building in the city center that would enable us to assist many families who were struggling with trauma and poverty. Due to increasing challenges for space, we soon outgrew the old, 70-square-meter daycare facility and began adding various tent structures to better serve the people... thus establishing our present 'Tents of Victory' facility.
In 2019, the Hands of Mercy team was struck with grief when our compassionate and heroic founder had unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack at the beginning of a summer speaking tour in the US. Due to decades of work with trauma victims and the daily pressures of leading a compassion ministry on Israel's front lines, Yeshi was planning to retire and he appointed Yariv Goldman as his successor and Hands of Mercy's director shortly before he passed away. Prior to becoming Hands of Mercy's director, Yariv was a well-known musician and the leader of a successful street outreach ministry that has existed for many years.
Yariv and the rest of the Hands of Mercy team are determined to uphold and continue Yeshi's legacy of caring for Israel's needy and traumatised. Also, under Yariv's leadership we have been actively expanding the ministry and "enlarging the place of our tent" by finding new expressions of G-D's compassion towards the most broken and traumatised individuals among the "lost sheep of Israel". In the autumn of 2019 Hands of Mercy has moved its headquarters back to Jerusalem and opened the Adullam outreach center to provide a safe space for training and healing in order to serve young people at risk and lone soldiers. Also, building on the foundations of years of successful street outreach work by Yariv and his family, Hands of Mercy has started to be involved in street outreach in order to reach "the lost, the last and the least" in Israel.