Haifa home dedication

ICEJ to be honored for funding Israel’s largest assisted-living home specially dedicated to destitute Holocaust survivors

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16 Sep 2010
Haifa home dedication

On Sunday, 19 September 2010, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will be honored at a special ceremony in Haifa for funding the country’s largest assisted-living facility solely dedicated to caring for destitute Holocaust survivors, operated by the local charity Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping Hands to Friends).

The dedication ceremony at the Haifa congress center will feature Israel’s Chief Rabbi (Ashkenazi) Yona Metzger, Yad Vashem chairman Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni, cabinet ministers Eli Yishai, Moshe Kahlon, Matan Vilnai, Daniel Hershkovitz, Gilad Erdan and Gila Gamliel, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, and other Israeli dignitaries.

The Dedication Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, 19 September 2010, at 7:30 PM in the Haifa International Convention Center. Some 2,000 Holocaust survivors will be in attendance as guests of honor.

Over recent months, the ICEJ has been sponsoring a special project to acquire, renovate and expand an assisted-living facility in Haifa for impoverished Holocaust survivors, which will now be able to accommodate up to 80 residents. The ICEJ has provided funds to purchase a four-storey building and to carry out extensive renovations, allowing approved tenants to begin taking up residence last month.

German Christians affiliated with the ICEJ have been the primary source of funds for this unique project, which is considered by many as a model for Israel in dealing with the growing national problem of poor and needy survivors of the Shoah. An estimated 210,000 Holocaust survivors currently live in Israel, and up to one-third of these are in dire financial straits, often due to exorbitant medical costs.

The new facility will be able to house up to 80 survivors, providing all their lodging, food and medical care for free, with doctors and nurses from area hospitals volunteering to cover their health needs on an around-the-clock basis. The kitchen and dining area also will be able to feed other Holocaust survivors who live in the area on a daily basis.

More than 2,000 applicants, mostly survivors of Nazi death camps in Poland and Germany, signed up on the waiting list for a place to stay in the new facility. A careful selection process identified the most worthy tenants based on need.

The ICEJ’s involvement in this unique humanitarian project is part of its increased focus on reaching out to elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel. The Christian Embassy has been giving new emphasis in recent years on helping to ease their suffering and allowing them to live out their years with dignity, whether through adoption programs, special assistance at holidays, or investment in initiatives like the Yad Ezer facility.

“Through this special project, we are seeking to honor those who have been subjected to unspeakable horrors and evil,” said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.“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.”

“It is a great privilege for the Christian Embassy, and in particular German Christians, to take up the task of funding and supporting this unique warm home for Holocaust survivors. This gift will never make up for what they suffered. But it does give hope for the present and for the future,” added ICEJ International Director Juergen Buehler, who also heads the Embassy’s branch in Germany. “It has been especially encouraging to witness so many Germans today who are willing to assume responsibility over their own tragic national history.”

Dr. Buehler and the ICEJ AID department are coordinating the Haifa project with Shimon Sabag, founder of Yad Ezer, which also sponsors soup kitchens, home food deliveries, homeless shelters, and a number of other charitable initiatives in the North.

“It is my heart’s desire to give those people who suffered so much some dignity and joy as they live out their last years. Time is running out for them,” said Sabag.

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For more information, please contact:
David Parsons,
ICEJ Media Director
Cell: +972 52 381 6214



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