At the end of this week (22.6.2018), the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham of the US 6th Fleet , arrived at the Haifa port.
Writer: News writer for the “Yad Ezer L’Haver” organizationתמונות
At the end of this week (22.6.2018), the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham of the US 6th
Fleet , arrived at the Haifa port. A large group of the ship’s sailors serving on the American
destroyer arrived for a visit in the “Yad Ezer Lechaver” organization. The American sailors received
a comprehensive overview of the organization from the founder and director of the organization, Mr.
Shimon Sabag. They also toured the Museum of Holocaust and Rebirth. During their tour of the
museum the sailors showed great interest in every exhibit and the unique stories surrounding the
During this emotional encounter, the American sailors met with a Holocaust survivor from Poland
and an active tenant in the “Warm House of Holocaust Survivors”, Mrs. Rita Cassimao-Braun, 85,
who told the soldiers about her life story during the Holocaust and the story of her heroism and
emotional survival during the Nazi era. The sailors were very moved by her tragic story and there
was not a dry eye in the group .The official media website for US service members has also
published the emotional and moving visit of its sailors to the Yad Ezer L’Haver organization.
Yad Ezer L’Haver invites you to come and visit the Holocaust and Rebirth Museum. The museum
has a permanent exhibition about the Holocaust and the revival of the State of Israel. The museum
exhibits dozens of artifacts from the Holocaust period, such as: Torah scrolls, menorahs, diaries
and various items. You are invited to visit and be impressed. Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday
between 09: 00-16: 30 and on Fridays for groups only by appointment, by phone:
04-8666988 , We are waiting for you and would be glad to see you!
Photos: The official website of the destroyer “USS Jason Dunham”, Adir Yaziref.
Billionaire Mitch Goldhar visited the “Holocaust and Rebirth” Museum in Haifa
Billionaire Mitch Goldhar, owner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team, arrived Sunday evening (29.4) a few hours before his team played against the Hapoel Haifa team, at Kiryat Hahesed of the Yad Ezer L’Haver organization, for a visit to “The New Holocaust” museum which was inaugurated recently. Goldhar arrived accompanied by his assistant Jack Englidis and a large entourage of friends and family. He visited the museum about three years ago in its early stages of construction, and promised to come and visit it again, and this is what he did tonight.
Goldhar toured the facilities of Kiryat HaHesed, and received a comprehensive overview of the organization from Yigal Danino, the legal advisor of the association, due to the fact that the founder and CEO of the organization, Mr. Shimon Sabag, is on a personal visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. Goldhar, met with Holocaust survivors, residents of the Yad Ezer L’Haver “Warm House for Holocaust Survivors”, and did not miss a thorough tour of the new Holocaust and Rebirth Museum. He also stated that he himself is a member of a family of Holocaust survivors. His grandmother, grandfather and all his family perished in the Holocaust. The only survivor of the Nazis was his mother. Goldhar said, “I stand here in front of you and I am very moved. This is a great and special day for me to be here and hear what you have undergone. I share these difficult moments with my family as well. I know that I cannot assist you at the moment, but I will be a partner and I will try to contribute as much as possible to help this amazing and exciting place. I am thrilled to be here and witness the long-standing activities of Mr. Shimon Sabag, towards the well-being of Holocaust survivors. There are not many people with as much goodwill, generosity and magnanimity within them. Shimon Sabag is a precious man not only to you but to many in this country. You should be honored that Shimon commemorates Holocaust survivors alive, as this is very important, I was very excited to visit this museum here tonight. ”
Photos: Yad Ezer Lechaverתמונות
"No Law can erase the Past" - Holocaust survivors from "Yad Ezer L'Haver" association in Haifa demonstrate in front of the Polish Embassy building in Tel Aviv, Thursday, 8.2.2018
Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018
“No law can erase the past” this is what dozens of Holocaust survivors, residents of the “Warm
House of Holocaust Survivors” of the “Yad Ezer Lechaver” Organisation in Haifa, said after they
broke out into protest this week (Thursday, 8.2.2018) in front of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv
against the Polish law passed in parliament denying Poland’s active role in the Holocaust.
“You should be ashamed; we ran away from Auschwitz and have cried every night since
because of what we went through there”. “No law shall erase history,” the demonstrators wrote
on the protest signs. Dozens of demonstrators protested loudly in front of the Polish embassy
building in Tel Aviv.
Shalom Sternberg, the “darling of Haifa” a Holocaust survivor, one of the last survivors of the
“Warsaw Ghetto” aged 95, cried out: “You should be ashamed. I escaped from Auschwitz and
live a constant nightmare of what I suffered there. Many of us have not managed to survive,
and we will not forget that the Nazis massacred us on your Polish soil”.
The founder and director of the “Yad Ezer Lever” association, Mr. Shimon Sabag, who led the
protest, said: “A few days ago I met one of the residents of the ‘Warm House’ and saw that he
was in tears. He told me, “I have not slept all night since the Polish government passed this
law. I have not slept since I escaped from the camps. I have nightmares since I heard that the
Poles claim they are not responsible for the happenings on their soil “. At that moment I
thought about what action to take, and then another Holocaust survivor told me that he and his
friends wanted to demonstrate in front of the Polish embassy building in Tel Aviv. I did not
hesitate for a moment, and that is what we did. I see great responsibility here. If the police were
to approve more than 50 demonstrators, we would have gathered a few hundred. I know that
this protest is from the heart and blood of the people who lost entire families. ”
It should be noted that even before they left for the demonstration in Tel Aviv, Holocaust
survivors from the “Yad Ezer L”Haver” organization sent a harsh letter to the Polish prime
minister, in which they wrote: ” We, the Holocaust survivors who live in the “warm home” of “Yadתמונות
Ezer Lechaver”, want to tell you that we are in great pain at the new law that your government
enacted this morning” . They added, “Already in the first survivor testimonies, we have stated
that there were Poles who collaborated with the Nazis, and even worse, when the war ended
and the Jews returned from all sorts of places where they lived and hid during the war, the Poles
were the ones who massacred them.”
A protest tent has been set up in front of the Polish embassy and in front of the “Yad Ezer
Lechaver” charity site, where Holocaust survivors and other citizens will be able to sign a
petition calling on the Poles to repeal the law. “We are here to express our protest and we
promise that it will not be quiet,” concluded Shimon Sabag. Two Polish diplomats tried to calm
the situation, but when they came out, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor from Haifa, Yaakov
Edelstein, jeered: “You made three-color soap from us. Now you say that you are not
responsible. You made soap from us !!! ”
Photos: Joe Luciano
The Yad Ezer Lechaver community has inaugurated the largest and newest “Holocaust museum” in the north in a moving ceremony on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Friday, April 28, 2017
Author: News writer “Yad Ezer Le’Chaver”
On April 24, 2017, the “Yad Ezer L’Haver” community held a special and moving ceremony on the Holocaust Memorial Day. Close to 1,000 guests attended the ceremony, including hundreds of Holocaust survivors, security forces (such as police and army officers), ambassadors, consuls of the diplomatic corps, school children, volunteers, public figures and many guests.
The “Yad Ezer L’Haver” foundation has established a charitable community on Kassel Street, Haifa, for the purpose of Holocaust survivors and families in need. The ceremony was held in the courtyard of the “Survivor memorial ” Museum, founded by the organization in 2012. This year the ceremony was marked by the opening of a new wing in the growing Holocaust Museum in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in “Yad Ezer L’Haver”, which will now be the largest and most impressive in the north. “Yad Ezer L’Haver” community museum is expected to extend over hundreds of square meters and its construction is scheduled to be completed in the coming year. This museum commemorates the horrific lives of the Holocaust survivors (now residents of the “Warm House of Holocaust Survivors”), and displays exhibits of personal belongings that were preserved during the Holocaust, hidden by the survivors or their families in hastily carved concrete walls On show are items such as special Torah scrolls, mezuzahs, menorahs, shofars, tallit and Jewish ritual prayer fringes. Furthermore, visitors can watch dozens of screens displaying chilling documentations, films and pictures . The founders of the museum confirm that “the main reason for the establishment of the museum is to ascertain that future generations, eternally remember and never forget the Holocaust!”
The ceremony began with the lighting of the “torch of memory”. The torch was lit by the Holocaust survivor Mrs. Shoshana Kolmar, 98, who was born in Czechoslovakia and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. During the ceremony, she raised her sleeve and cried with a choked voice: “There, in the Auschwitz death camp, the Nazis murdered everyone including all of my family members. They did not call me Shoshana, they called me “80277,” This is the number that the Nazis burned on my arm. ”
The cantor, Rabbi Chaim Greenstein, then delivered the “El Maleh Rachamim” prayer in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
“We stand here amazed every time by this man, Shimon Sabag, Founder and Director of Yad Ezer L’Haver and how much will to give one person has,” said the mayor of Haifa, Mr. Yona Yahav, at the central ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day held at the “Yad La’Nitzol” Plaza in Haifa. “We witness this awesome and tremendous giving every day, every hour, and we understand how much strength is needed in order to help and support the Holocaust survivors on a constant basis.
Many public figures attended the ceremony including the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Knesset member, Ayoub Kara, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Yaron Mazuz, and Deputy Minister Michael Oren, Knesset members Akram Hasson and Michael Malkieli, President of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem ,Mr. Jürgen Buller, philanthropist ,Jan Fischer, of Germany, Mayors from the Haifa City Council, and hundreds of Holocaust survivors among them about one hundred residents of the “Warm House of Holocaust Survivors” of the Association.
Deputy Minister of the Environment, Knesset member, Yaron Mazuz, also spoke at the ceremony and said: “Every day I am thrilled by the activities of Mr. Shimon Sabag and the Yad Ezer community. So often he uses his tremendous energies towards his activities for the sake of Holocaust survivors. I hope that you will continue to engage in this important mitzvah for the well-being of Holocaust survivors, and to help others and those in need, with the help of the volunteers of the organization, for many years to come. ”
Kiryat HaHesed is prosperous, and well-maintained, providing many moments of happiness and attention to hundreds of Holocaust survivors every day. Most of them live here and receive a warm home with 3 hot meals daily, medical, psychological and pharmacological treatment, as needed, alongside many social activities held at the organization’s social club.
Mr. Shimon Sabag, director of the “Yad Ezer Lever” organization, who is working day and night for the well-being of Holocaust survivors in Haifa and Israel, said as he closed the ceremony “I know that this hard work would not have been possible without the assistance of all present. It is a great privilege for me to be helped by the many volunteers of the organization and generous donors, some of whom are here today. I believe the association’s activities must continue, and it is our duty to try and locate every Holocaust survivor who still needs some kind of assistance in any form. We hope to reach the day the Holocaust survivors will have everything they need or want. I do not need to stress how important it is for us to make these people feel good in their last years of life. It is important that we provide them with opportunities to smile and feel cheerful. Today we are unveiling the first wing of the Holocaust Museum. It will be a memorial museum for victims of the Holocaust and for future generations, to remember the Holocaust and never forget. Today we have the State of Israel, which is a very strong country and has a large and strong army. I will continue to locate the Holocaust survivors who are in need, and I pledge to continue helping them as much as we can.”
Representatives of the Israel Football Association who came together with national coach Elisha Levi announced that they would embrace and adopt the organisation. “I think we can help with the various activities and we will do it with joy for this lofty goal” said the head of the information department of the soccer association, Shlomi Barzel.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the awarding of the “Shield of Social Justice” to Channel 10 journalist and writer Eli Levy. Levy, who received the shield from a long list of public figures, did so due to his astounding activities for the sakes of holocaust survivors. When asked to speak he said “I stand here excited not only because of the prize, but because of the strength of Shimon Sabag and the association he heads. This is an extraordinary man, and I wish there were many more like him in the State of Israel. ”
The ceremony lasted for more than an hour. The singers included Vanessa Büller, wife of the president of the Christian Embassy, the veteran singer Yakov Shapiro and the choir of a student at the Yizraeliya school. All were extremely enjoyable. Ron Kaufman said at the ceremony, “It is more important for the state to help Holocaust survivors and not leave this job to people like Shimon Sabag and his association who do holy work.” At the end of the event, the organizers were given a token of appreciation from Jürgen Büller and Jan Fischer at a short ceremony held at the club house in the presence of dozens of Holocaust survivors.
The event was attended by: the secretary general of the Haifa Religious Council Rabbi David Metzger, The founder of Bereaved Brothers Organization “Lanetsach Achi” and representative of “kulanu” in Haifa Eli Debi, The secretariats of the Amuta Trust Tami Siner and Ruti Cohen, The social worker of the organisation, who worked hard for the success of the ceremony, Mrs. Amit Eshed, The organization’s security officer, Yisrael Cohen and his wife Mali, the mother of the house of the “Beit HaYeled” association in Neve David Mrs. Ofra Ovadia, Dr. isabella Greenberg, an expert in psychiatry and director of the psycho-geriatric service at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, The head of security and the veteran volunteer of the organization, Reuven Freizi, who assists in all the organization’s events on a voluntary basis, and police officers from the Casualties Unit at the Israel Police Force, in which Yoni Turgeman, a casualty officer, was assigned to the AAN Unit and Shlomi Kedar, Northern Casualties Officer. Furthermore, it should be noted that the injured officers of the Israel Police have been accompanying the Holocaust survivors for several years and are taking care of their welfare.
Nearing the denouement of the ceremony workers, volunteers (who come from overseas and members of the chaifa community) came together with all other attendants for an inspiring and uniting singing of “HaTikvah”, it is safe to say not one eye left this ceremony dry. Following this, the much anticipated viewing of the museum wing had begun.
This year, the ceremony was particularly moving when the students of the Yizraelia School performed chilling and uplifting singing and music arrangements. The Yizraeliya School in Haifa, under the direction of Mrs. Iris Cohen and in cooperation with the coordinator of the community system, Mrs. Aviva Feldman in Hagee, have been cooperating for many years. During the year, with the Holocaust survivors of the organization, and especially for ‘Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, the students of the school choir, under the direction of Leonid Goffman, prepared songs for this distinguished ceremony. The ceremony was attended by second to sixth graders who were very overcome about the important event, the children first sang “Eli Eli”, and finally sang a song which incorporates three languages Yiddish Russian and Hebrew “Koreh Ani Ab”. In the crowd there were masses of teary eyes, especially after international singer, Yaakov Shapiro, sang in Yiddish.
The “Yad Ezer Lever” organisation sponsors the Warm House for Holocaust Survivors in Kiryat HaHesed, which has been established for more than 120 Holocaust survivors. It provides hot meals to hundreds of Holocaust survivors and provides assistance to the needy. Additionally, it helps the homeless, single mothers, cancer patients and others in need.
In “Kiryat HaHesed” there is a memorial for the 6 Million jews murdered, in front of the Yad Lanitsul museum. The black monument is built on a huge surface in the form of a Star of David, so that we will never forget the yellow star of Jude and the Israeli flag. The sides of the Star of David are used as benches for survivors of the Holocaust living in the Warm House and for visitors to this museum. The six-meter monument, in the form of the sixth book, and an eternal flame is lit to commemorate the 6 million victims of the Holocaust.
Finally, it is worth noting the the entire Kesel St which is located right in the heart of Hadar, was blocked of to all vehicles, which is no simple task at all. This was all done with the incredible help and work of Israel security officer Israel Cohen.
Extensive Photo Gallery: Joe Luciano, Adir Yaziref.תמונות
Each year, Haifa, Israel, plays host to a beauty pageant. But the contestants aren’t what you’d expect.
Each year, Haifa, Israel, plays host to a beauty pageant. But the contestants aren’t what you’d expect. Each one is a Holocaust survivor. And last year’s winner—84 year-old Rita Berkowitz—is set to pass her crown on to the new queen. This pageant has had critics who claim that the event sensationalizes the suffering of the participants, but Rita doesn’t see it that way. For her, the pageant is a way for survivors from all over Israel to come together and celebrate being alive.תמונות
She kept silent for 40 years. Yet, since Judith Rosenzweig learned the Holocaust is being denied with greater regularity, she decided to speak about the ghettos, forced marches and concentration camps she survived.
“The past lives on in me, it cannot be hidden,” says Judith Rosenzweig. Now, in old age, her childhood memories are coming back. Rosenzweig was born in 1930, in what was then the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In 1942, she and her family were deported to Theresienstadt. From there, they were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She, her mother and her sister survived the ordeal. After various internments at labor camps, she was sent to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Her mother died just one week after the camp was liberated. Judith Rosenzweig never saw her father after they were separated at Auschwitz. She arrived in Israel in 1948, at the age of 18. There, she worked as a nurse and started a family.
Today, the 87-year-old lives at a senior citizens’ home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa. The home was started by the Yad Ezer L’Haver (A Helping Hand for a Friend) initiative as a way to help Holocaust survivors in need. It is partially financed with aid from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), a Christian Zionist organization.
DW: Mrs. Rosenzweig, you were just a child when the war broke out. How did you experience that time?
Judith Rosenzweig: In my memoirs I wrote: “I was born in paradise, then I was banished, just like Adam and Eve.” I was born in 1930, and I was nine years old when the Germans arrived in the Republic of Czechoslovakia. The occupation started with various decrees – we were not allowed to go to the park or the cinema. Then Jewish children were barred from attending school. We were not allowed to study and I only went to four classes. In late 1941 they began deporting Jewish families to the Theresienstadt ghetto. My family was taken there in March 1942.
Your memories of Theresienstadt were published in the book “The Girls of Room 28”.
I shared a room there with 29 other girls. We were there all day long. The beds were stacked three-high; you couldn’t sit up in them. Behind the bed was a board where we kept our personal belongings: toothbrush, comb and soup bowl. And that was all the living space we had. Our guard tried to keep us busy. She also taught us, even though it was forbidden.
In 1944, your family was deported to Auschwitz.
Trains were leaving all the time. We had no idea what was happening to the people that were taken away. In 1944 they took us: my mother, my father and my sister. My brother was already gone by then. When we arrived in Auschwitz the women were put into one line, the men in another. That was the last time I ever saw my father, standing there among the other men. When you arrived in Auschwitz, the camp physician, Dr. Josef Mengele, decided who was fit to work and who wasn’t. Those who weren’t were sent to the gas chambers immediately. He declared myself, my mother and my sister fit to work. They sent us to a barracks where we had to undress and hand over our clothes. Then they sent us to the showers and gave us very thin clothing. The next day Mengele came in and once again decided who would be sent to work.
Auschwitz was liberated in 1945, but you had been sent to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp as a forced laborer
just a few weeks prior to that.
We weren’t in Auschwitz very long before we were sent off to work somewhere else. It was the middle of winter and we were forced to go on foot. In February, we were transported to Bergen Belsen in open railcars. It was a horrific place. Everyone there was dying from starvation and disease. We had to stand outside in the cold for hours each day because we were told that we had to be counted. I was often unconscious, and my mother and sister had to prop me up as we stood there. When the camp was liberated, in April 1945, I suppose the British soldiers that saw us must have been shocked. We were given soup and I immediately felt better. My sister fell ill, and my mother died just one week after the camp was liberated.
After the war you returned to Czechoslovakia.
When my sister and I returned home my brother was already there. But the house was empty. I told my brother and sister that I was going to Israel. I didn’t want to stay someplace that I was not welcome. But it took two years before I could go to Israel. Eventually I traveled from Marseille to Jaffa. The date was May 15, 1948 – the first day of the state of Israel.
You were 18 when you arrived in Israel. How were you received?
First we were sent to hotels, then we were asked where we wanted to go. The next day we were given bus tickets. I wanted to be near Haifa, where my aunt lived. I wanted to go to school but I was already too old. There wasn’t always a lot of understanding for what we had been through. At the time, my aunt asked me what I had experienced in Europe. As I began to tell her she stopped me and said: Oh come on, you are exaggerating. I never spoke about my experience for the next 40 years. It wasn’t until I learned that people around the world were denying that the Shoah took place that I decided to speak up.
Today, at 87, you travel and tell your story. How important is it to you that people remember what happened?
It is very important to me because there are always people that say we made it all up. I have been to Germany a couple of times to speak at schools. It is important that our memories aren’t forgotten. My generation is the last of those who survived Auschwitz. It is really difficult to understand what was done to Jews, and why. That should never be allowed to happen again, and one must share that message with the world. You cannot kill people because of their religion.
Tania Kr?mer conducted this interview in Haifa.
By: “Yad Ezer Lechaver” News reporterBorn in a small town in Poland bordering Germany, Miriam remembers the day the Nazis arrived. Just five days after their initial attack on Warsaw, Nazi troops marched into town, closed all Synagogues, executed the first Jew and assigned the rest of them to hard labour. Miriam and other young girls had the gruelling task of clearing snow and stones off a field, only to be ordered to put the stones back the very next day. Anyone not working hard enough, in the eyes of the Nazis, was ruthlessly beaten.Before long, Miriam and the others were transported to Ghetto Lodz. They lived there for a month: Sleeping in the cold, winter streets on makeshift straw mattresses before being marched back to town, where another Ghetto had been prepared. One by one, Miriam’s sister, brother and grandmother were sent off to different camps; she never saw them again. Miriam can still recall the sounds of wailing and sobbing as family members were separated.In 1942, Miriam was sent back to Ghetto Lodz, a place of starvation, sickness and constant death, only to be taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau two years later. The chaos which greeted them and ensuing months of living constantly surrounded by death were, in Miriam’s words, “beyond the realm of human language” to describe. Thankfully, this nightmare ended when the camp was liberated in the spring of 1945.Miriam’s parents and all but one of her siblings did not survive the war. Once freed, Miriam began her journey to the land of Palestine – soon to become Israel – on the ‘Biria.’ In this ship, the Jewish passengers were packed together like sardines with hardly any access to food, but the hope of arriving in a Jewish homeland kept them alive. Upon arrival, British troops detained Miriam and the other passengers on charges of traveling to Palestine illegally, but as British rule in Palestine was withering, the war victims were eventually released.Miriam recalls dancing in the streets on the day Israel declared statehood. After years of living in a nightmare, she was now witnessing a dream: The Jewish people finally had a home! Today Miriam is a proud mother of three, grandmother of nine, and great grandmother of seven beautiful children.Miriam is a one of thr resident at the “Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors”. As her health diminishes, she is grateful for the care and companionship she enjoys at the Home. You can contribute to this work which ensures these precious survivors are surrounded by love in the remaining years of their lives. Make your donation at http://yadezer.org.il/?page_
By: R.Frizi “Yad Ezer Lechaver” News reporterFor the rest of the world, Holocaust Remembrance Day is every January, when the Allied armies liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. In Israel, however, this occasion is held in the spring. For Israelis, this year’s Yom HaShoah– Holocaust Remembrance Day – falls on the 5th of May; since the date is fixed in the Jewish calendar, it changes from year to year in the Western calendar.Inaugurated in 1953 and anchored in a law signed by the Prime-Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion and President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the originally-proposed date was the 14th of Nisan, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (April 19, 1943). The timing was problematic, however, because it fell right after Passover. So the date was moved to the 27th of Nisan, eight days before Israeli Independence Day.Every year on Yom HaShoah, “Yad Ezer Lechaver” hosts a special ceremony at our Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors, which is attended by many dignitaries from Haifa and other cities, including Rabbis and political figures, groups of students, soldiers and other Israeli servicemen and women.Yudit Herskowitz: I lost all my family in Auschwitz. When we arrived in Auschwitz, we were separated and we saw smoke, but we had no idea what was happening. I am the only one of my whole extended family that came out alive. I’m still trying to find out what happened to each one of them. Every year at Holocaust Memorial Day I am glued to the TV, hoping to see if I might find something out about my family.On this day is when I hold a personal memorial for all those I lost.Genia Swartzbert: Every week I light 5 candles. Three for my family that perished and two for the Russian women who saved my life. We should not forget the good things, and we should not forget the bad things.Chava Herskowitz: It is a very difficult day. When my children were little and still living with me, I tried not to be with them when the sirens went off [for one minute of silence], because I would always cry. We didn’t want to burden our children with our past and wanted them to be happy, so for many years we never told them the things we went through. It is a day I think about my family that was murdered and I say the mourner’s prayer. It is like visiting their grave on that day.Shimon Sabag: All of Israel is one and remembers what happened on Yom HaShoah. One third of the Jews in Europe were killed. On this day we remember the families who were murdered. Many have no grave to go to and mourn. It is an important day to learn from – they wanted to destroy the Jewish people, and the world didn’t believe it would happen. We hear these voices even today. We need to be alert and learn from the past, so it will never happen again.
On Friday this week a large delegation of many guests from Germany visited the Holocaust survivors, residents of the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’
By: The News Reporter of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation
On Friday this week a large delegation of many guests from Germany visited the Holocaust survivors, residents of the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation in the foundation’s Village of Kindness in Kassel Street in Haifa. The many guests visited and toured around the ‘Warm Home’ of the Holocaust Survivors, and the ‘Monument to the Survivors’ Museum, which was established by the foundation in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. They also visited the Holocaust survivors’ houses, and during the visit the Holocaust survivors and guests assembled for an exciting meeting in the foundation’s ‘Social Club’, where a short film was screened to them about the Holocaust survivors’ visit to the Israeli President’s Residence that took place not long ago in Jerusalem, on the occasion of International Holocaust Memorial Day, on 27/01/2016.
The foundation’s founder and director Mr. Shimon Sabag, thanked all of the guests from Germany for devoting their time to visiting Israel and the foundation’s many Holocaust survivors. The guests from Germany were given an extensive overview in German by Yudit Setz, Deputy Director of the Welfare Department at the Christian Embassy of Jerusalem who accompanied the visit throughout the whole day, about ‘The Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ and the lifetime achievements of Shimon Sabag.
During the visit of the delegation of guests from Germany, they listened attentively to the many testimonies of the numerous Holocaust survivors, residents of the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’, about their life stories and their fascinating stories of survival from the time of the Holocaust. The Holocaust survivors told of how they valiantly survived the hell of the Auschwitz death camp and the Nazi oppressor.
All the members of the group listened most attentively to Holocaust survivor Ms. Chava Hershkovitz, 82 years old, born in Romania and resident of the foundation’s ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’, who told of her life in the time of the Holocaust when she was evicted from her home in Romania in the year 1941, and was sent to a detention camp in the Soviet Union, where she stayed for three years. Ms. Hershkovitz said to the guests: “We want it not to be forgotten that there was a Holocaust, and if we don’t point this out then nobody will remember any more.” It is worth noting that Ms. Hershkovitz has herself been supporting the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ for many years with all its needs, and with administrative work in the foundation’s office in a fully voluntary role.
Most emotional and heart rending stories were recounted by artist and painter Ms. Mania Herman, 83 years old, born in Romania, who now lives in the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’, who told of her childhood when she was just 8 years old and under the shadow of the Nazi oppressor at the time of the Holocaust, during which her, her parents and all her family were deported to a concentration camp in Ukraine where they suffered from the most difficult living conditions, starving from a lack of food, in terrible cold and in constant sickness. The many guests from Germany were given a tour of her exhibition of paintings in the social club. Ms. Mania Herman has a particularly heart rending story, she has already written three books about her childhood in the Holocaust and her survival together with her parents in the camp of Transnistria in Ukraine, as well as her aliyah to Israel. She has been painting for many years, and her paintings are related to her personal experiences.
The many guests from Germany were very emotional, and during the exciting meeting with the Holocaust survivors, it was also clear to see at every second, tears coming down their eyes. It was truly touching!
Photos: Josh Dean, Adir Yaziref
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin greets Holocaust survivors in the warmest of welcomes at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day !On the occasion of ‘International Holocaust Memorial Day’, which fell on Wednesday this week 27/1/2016, Holocaust survivors, staff and volunteers of the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ foundation were hosted at the residence of the Israeli President in Jerusalem.
By: News reporter of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’
On the occasion of ‘International Holocaust Memorial Day’, which fell on Wednesday this week 27/1/2016, Holocaust survivors, staff and volunteers of the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ foundation were hosted at the residence of the Israeli President in Jerusalem. President of Israel Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin met and hosted the Holocaust survivors in great warmth at a meeting of the most exciting caliber, and many present shed a tear. During the meeting President Rivlin said to the Holocaust survivors: “To those who lived at the bottom and managed to establish a home here, it is our duty to promise them that the Holocaust survivors who live among us, will live out their lives in comfort and will have peaceful lives.” The Israeli President further added: “It is no more than our moral duty as a country and as a people, with the window of opportunity gradually closing to promise the generation of survivors the required wellbeing. We, here in this country, owe to the Holocaust survivors these moments that shall not be lacking. The People of Israel is alive, and the survivors are without doubt one of the reasons for that.”
Founder and director of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ foundation Mr. Shimon Sabag, awarded during the meeting a painting born of the fruits of the paintbrush of a resident at the foundation’s ‘Warm Home’, Holocaust survivor Ms. Manya Hermann and this accompanied Mr. Shalom Shamberg, 92 years old, a Holocaust survivor from Poland who resided in the Warsaw Ghetto and survived the hell of the death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and his wife Zelda, who is also a Holocaust survivor. Mr. Sabag said in the ceremony full of emotion: “There is no better proof for the Holocaust survivors that the People of Israel, than when the President and the symbol of the country hosts them here today at his residence, the presidential residence with the kind of honour bestowed to kings. If we had had a country at the time of the Second World War, it is clear that there would not have been a Holocaust. Now this is our goal, to strengthen the nation so that those who rise up to destroy us will not succeed and will not even think to do so.”
Director of the foundation Mr. Shimon Sabag also thanked the President for the invitation. President Rivlin praised Mr. Sabag, the staff and the volunteers of the foundation who work day and night for the wellbeing of the Holocaust survivors each day of the year. He further praised the blessed and sublime work of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation and the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’, which is at the loving residence of the foundation in Haifa. “This is sacred volunteering”, so he said to the Holocaust survivors. At the end of the meeting, the President stood with the Holocaust survivors and spoke with them. The President also welcomed for a conversation in his office the director of the Christian Embassy, which donates to the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation and to many other just causes.
The visit of the delegation of Holocaust survivors from the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’ of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation caused an enormous influx of comments online, and this was due to the personal story of Holocaust survivor Mr. Shalom Shtamberg who was able during the ceremony to take out a black and white photo from the days when he was a young Jewish prisoner in the Warsaw Ghetto. President Reuven Rivlin saw the photo, took it in his hand, placed it against his chest and wiped a tear of emotion from his face. Director of the foundation Mr. Shimon Sabag, who saw the emotional tribute on the part of the Israeli President, was himself unable to hold back the emotion, to the point of tears; and it goes without saying that also for all those who were present, the warm welcome at the President’s Residence ended with not a dry eye in sight.
In addition all of Holocaust survivor Shalom Shtamberg’s family were murdered at the hands of the Nazi oppressor. He is a father to two daughters, a grandfather to seven grandchildren and a great-grandfather to six great-grandchildren.
For many years Mr. Shtamberg has devoted his time and contributed greatly to perpetuating the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and giving lectures to pupils and students in Israel and Germany on the events of the Holocaust, in which he tells his personal journey of survival. For many years he has been active and supports through donations the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation and the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’.
It is important to point out that the motto that accompanies Mr. Shtamberg is: “To remember and not to forget”. At his home, he is a manager of a small ‘museum’, in which there are documents, records and photos, which deal with documentation of the horrors from the time of the Holocaust.
At the end of the event Mr. Sabag added: “I stand here today, Mr. President, proud of all the Holocaust survivors that have come here. I feel so excited and I feel it a truly great privilege that I was able to establish the ‘Warm Home for Holocaust Survivors’, the only big home today in all of Israel, whose sole purpose is to provide for the wellbeing of the Holocaust survivors and to serve them, without any state support.
The group of Holocaust survivors who were hosted at the President’s Residence were joined by the staff and volunteers of the foundation, among them the brother of the foundation’s director Mr. Baruch Sabag, who manages the branch of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation in the city of Katזrin in the north; social worker Ms. Amit Shaked, the foundation’s security officer Mr. Yisrael Cohen and his wife Mali, the veteran security guard Reuven Frizi, who has volunteered at all the foundation’s events since the day it was founded; the foundation’s doctor- Dr. Arina Neimark-Aliohin, Holocaust survivor and resident of the Warm Home who also volunteers herself at the foundation- Ms. Chavah Hershkowitz, the foundation’s lawyer Mr. Chider Mustafa, manager of the social club Ms. Naomi Iluz, friend of the foundation Ran Lev, Noga and Yaron Carmi from the website ‘Chay poh’, representatives of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, including director of the embassy Mr. Juha Ketola and welfare manager Ms. Nicole Yoder, and many others.
It is worth pointing out that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin chose to hold the meeting with the Holocaust survivors in the reception hall of Presidential Residence, a hall in which the President holds state ceremonies to which highly esteemed guests have been hosted, such as President of the United States Barack Obama, the Pope and others.
When the Holocaust survivors along with all their guests entered the reception hall, they were greeted with great respect and a cold or hot drink that was served with great courtesy by the staff of the President’s Residence. The Holocaust survivors explored the inside of the President’s Residence in which there are busts made of bronze placed on pedestals of all those in the past who have held the role of President of Israel, which are situated both in the reception hall and the lounge of the President’s Residence.
The Holocaust survivors, staff and volunteers of the ‘Yad Ezer Lechaver’ Foundation, who attended the meeting at the President’s Residence were also joined by a group of soldiers from the 3rd Squadron of the Rocket Ship Command of the Navy in Haifa. These soldiers volunteer throughout all the days of the year in different activities for the benefit of Holocaust survivors of the foundation.
Photos: Joe Lotsiano , Yaron Carmi “Haipo” , Adir Yeziref