Center for Holocaust survivors inaugurated in Haifa

Tzipi Livni, Eli Yishai, Moshe Kahlon attend dedication of nation's largest assisted-living facility for Holocaust survivors.

By ZUZANA BARAK
September 20, 2010 03:16
2 minute read.
Tzipi Livni and Rev. Malcolm Hedding

Assisted living center Haifa. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The nation’s’s largest assisted-living facility devoted solely to caring for needy Holocaust survivors was dedicated in a ceremony at Haifa’s Congress Center on Sunday night.

Two thousand Holocaust survivors, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Yad Vashem chairman and Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav were among those who came to thank the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem for sponsoring the project operated by the Haifa-based charity Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping Hands to Friends).

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NIS 3 million was collected within a period of six months, mostly from people affiliated with the International Christian Embassy’s branch in Germany.

“German Christians are particularly sensitive to the impoverishment experienced by many Holocaust survivors today,” said Dr. Juergen Buehler, the ICEJ’s international director and also the head of ICEJ in Germany “It is because of our dreadful history that we feel direct responsibility for the ongoing suffering caused by the Shoah. The swift financial aid is the evidence that the new generation in Germany is committed to making a difference in Israel on a very practical level.”

The newly renovated fourstory facility will accommodate up to 80 survivors, providing all their food and medical care for free, with doctors, and nurses from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center available 24 hours a day, and weekly psychological visits.

ICEJ hopes to soon buy the neighboring building, which would be able to house another 50 residents.

There are an estimated 210,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, and about a third of them live in poverty, often due to high medical costs.

For many of these survivors, the new Yad Ezer facility is their only chance to live out their days in peace and dignity, Rev. Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

There are more than 2,000 applicants, mostly survivors of Nazi death camps in Poland and Germany, already on the waiting list, hoping to find a home where they can escape loneliness and join a vibrant and comforting community.


“Through this special humanitarian project, we are seeking to honor those who have been subjected to unspeakable horrors and evil.

We can never fully know or understand what they have been through, but we can give them hope, love, care and most of all dignity. They give meaning to why a Jewish state is needed and thus they teach us and most of all inspire us by their lives,” Hedding said.


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