Shoes, Computer Lessons and Dinner at the Beach

Holocaust Survivors receiving new orthopedic shoes
During the month of July, hundreds of Holocaust Survivors living in Israel received brand new, comfortable, orthopedic shoes to ease their feet. They were distributed by one of our partners, Helping Hand Coalition (HHC), who received them as a gift from Christians in Germany. The Survivors were delighted with their new shoes and eagerly tried them on and showed them to each other. Boxes of shoes were delivered to the cities of Ashdod, Rehovot, Afula, Hadera, Nazareth, Sderot, Ofakim, Beersheva and Jerusalem where Holocaust survivors were invited to come to local social centres and receive a free pair of new shoes.

Earlier, HHC staff had personally distributed supermarket vouchers to the homes of Holocaust Survivors in the southern towns of Sderot, Ashdod, Ofakim and Beersheva. These cities have been subject to years of rocket attacks from nearby Gaza, and Holocaust Survivors have expressed the fear they live with when they hear the sirens. The HHC representatives were able to not only bless the Survivors financially, but also to take time to sit and chat with each individual. These one to one encounters help to relieve some of the fears and loneliness these Survivors deal with on a daily basis. 

Your People My People supports the work of HHC, a local Israeli charity working among Holocaust Survivors in Israel today.  We have seen first-hand the love and dedication that goes into caring for these people in Israel through various projects. Very elderly Survivors receive personal home visits and financial help, more physically able Survivors meet in local weekly home groups called 'Warm Houses' and during the annual holidays, Survivors are taken to cultural concerts and celebrations. 

Made with love - quilts for Holocaust Survivors

On another occasion, the Holocaust Survivors received hand-made patchwork quilts lovingly sewn together by American Christians. The Survivors were very grateful and touched by the beautiful gifts. Some of the recipients expressed that they felt deeply loved by people around the world who had not forgotten them and who are supporting them and giving them hope to continue in their daily lives. 

In the town of Hadera, a local school invited survivors of the World War II Warsaw Ghetto, to come and learn how to use a computer. Classes were held once a week with students from the school working together with the Survivors to master the basics. As well as imparting useful skills about computers, the school students also had the opportunity to get to know the Ghetto survivors and build valuable friendships.

We would like to share this report from the leader of one of the 'Beit Hamim' (Warm Houses), a weekly gathering of Holocaust Survivors in a local home. 

'Warm House' Dinner at the Beach
"Our Warm House meeting this week was outside in the park alongside the beach. Two weeks ago, we also held the meeting outside and it was so popular that this week, one of the Survivors asked if she could bring 6 more people to join us. We also had a group of 9 American visitors who were in Israel to serve. The Warm House received the visitors with love. We took 30 chairs and 3 long tables to the park overlooking the sea. One of the American ladies was a Jewish Believer and she sang a song in Hebrew, which we really appreciated. The food turned out great and there was more than enough for everyone. I picked up Michael and his wife Janna. This was the first time they were able to come since he had been in hospital. Everyone clapped for them as they walked up. The clouds and sunset were beautiful and it was very pleasant. The Warm House group sang songs in Hebrew and Russian. We gave the Book of Psalms in Russian to the new people and everyone was very thankful for the evening."

These weekly 'Warm House' meetings and one to one visits, provide a vital support network for the survivors of the Holocaust. This ageing group who have known unimaginable suffering in their lives often find themselves suffering again through the effects of poverty and loneliness. Through the partnership with Helping Hand Coalition, we can reach out to make a difference in their lives during these final years.