Volunteer families to host survivors for Passover

Families will be hosting Holocaust survivors for their Passover seders, a part of the “A house full of light” project.

Holocaust survivors at Auschwitz 370 (photo credit: reuters)
Holocaust survivors at Auschwitz 370
(photo credit: reuters)
Dozens of families across Israel will be hosting Holocaust survivors for the Passover seder this year as part of a national project organized by the NGO Shorashim Shel Netina, dedicated to helping survivors in the country.
The project, which is called “A house full of light,” is being organized for the first time this year and is being run in conjunction with municipalities all over the country helping the NGO find host families who are willing to pick up the survivors and drive them back home after the holiday dinner.
According to the organization, over 320 survivors have already been invited for the occasion and registration for participation in the project only opened a few days ago.
“I could not believe that anyone would ever want to and agree to host me for the holiday,” a 79-year-old survivor from Lod said on Sunday.
“Usually, I share the food package I get each year for the holiday mainly with myself ,” she said. “This will be the first time in years that I will have a Seder and I am very excited.”
Segev-Israel Afriat, the executive director of Shorashim Shel Netina, explained that the main objective of the project is to allow Holocaust survivors to feel the holiday atmosphere and enjoy the night of the Seder in the company of others.
“Food packages, as big and full as they may be, are not enough to fill the soul,” he said in a statement.
“Just the thought of Holocaust survivors having to sit alone on the night of the holiday makes me deeply sad, which is why I decided that this year we will start something to change that,” he continued.
Afriat also explained that he hopes this initiative will open the door for other similar events for survivors throughout the year such as Shabbat dinners and other holidays.
This year, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry also announced that it will distribute some 13,000 food vouchers of NIS 280 each to senior citizens in need across the country, which amounts to some NIS 4 million for the project.
The ministry will spend an additional NIS 4.5 million to finance food basket distributions for 72 different NGOs and foundations dedicated to the elderly in Israel.
Arrangements will also be made to allow seniors to receive nursing care for at least four days during the holiday, as many aides who assist them in their daily lives will be on vacation next week.