Yaakov was a member of the “Maccabi” sports association as a pupil, instructor, manager and gymnast. From 1938 he was among the leaders of his movement. In 1939 Yaakov moved to Budapest. He was enlisted in a forced labor unit in the fall of 1940 and released at the end of 1943. On 5.4.1944, after the German invasion, Yaakov was arrested at his workplace and sent to the military prison on Margit Boulevard. In July of the same year he was released but was mobilized for forced labor. Members of his movement equipped him with forged documents and, with his wife, Miriam, he was smuggled into Romania. Ya’akov and Miriam took with them six children aged 5-6, refugees from Poland, as well as two young boys aged seventeen from the Carpatho-Ruthenia region who did not speak Hungarian.
In November 1944 he made aliya and is a member of Kibbutz Ha’ogen. Ya’akov was a central figure on the kibbutz and in the Kibbutz Artzi institutions.