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
NIS 3 million was collected within a period of six months,
mostly from people affiliated with the International Christian Embassy’s branch
“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.
hopes to soon buy the neighboring building, which would be able to house another
There are an estimated 210,000 Holocaust survivors in
Israel, and about a third of them live in poverty, often due to high medical
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
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
to why a Jewish state is needed and thus they teach us and most of all
us by their lives,” Hedding said.