ICEJ Honoured for Funding Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors

ICEJ Aid

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27 Oct 2011
ICEJ Honoured for Funding Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was honoured at a special ceremony in Haifa last month for funding Israel’s largest assisted-living facility solely dedicated to caring for destitute Holocaust survivors.

The gala event at the Haifa International Convention Center featured addresses by Israeli cabinet ministers Eli Yishai and Yossi Peled, German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis, and other Israeli and foreign dignitaries, who also paid tribute to some 2,000 Holocaust survivors attending the celebration as special guests.

Over the past two years, the Christian Embassy has been sponsoring the special project to purchase,  renovate and expand an assisted-living facility in Haifa for impoverished Holocaust survivors, which will now be able to accommodate over 100 residents. The ICEJ has provided funds to purchase and renovate two four-storey buildings in order to greatly expand the facility, which is operated by the local charity Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping Hand to a Friend).

Tenants began to take up residence several months ago and the phased expansion is now completed.

With help from volunteer Christian work teams from Germany, the two dilapidated buildings were transformed into a multipurpose complex which includes attractive living quarters, a community kitchen and dining hall, a synagogue, courtyards, and a medical and dental clinic that will also serve Holocaust survivors from throughout the Haifa area.

German Christians affiliated with the ICEJ were 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. Approximately one third of Israel’s some 200,000 Holocaust survivors are impoverished, struggling with illness, or living alone.

Recognizing this situation, Shimon Sabag, the director of Yad Ezer L’Haver, a social aid organisation based in Haifa with a proven record of helping the disadvantaged, began a project to house some needy survivors. In December 2009, Shimon approached the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s aid department (ICEJ AID) requesting assistance to purchase the ground floor of the adjacent building on the same street and renovate it to house more survivors.

ICEJ AID understood that here was the opportunity to be part of something significant as well as urgent: to give needy survivors a home where they would feel safe and loved. The entire building was purchased and renovated. Then a second building on the same street was also purchased and improved with ICEJ funds.

The rundown buildings were transformed into an attractive assisted living complex that includes communal kitchenettes with tea and coffee making corners, a medical and dental clinic, elevators to serve the upper floors, balconies to enjoy the view of Haifa, and gardens and courtyard areas for outdoor enjoyment. The second building also includes a medical and dental clinic for the Home’s residents as well as Holocaust survivors from throughout the Haifa area.

Doctors and nurses from area hospitals will volunteer to cover the survivors’ health needs on an around-the-clock basis. The Home’s kitchen and dining area also will be able to feed other Holocaust survivors who live in the area on a daily basis.

The Holocaust Survivors are aging and the time when we can significantly help them is running out. The ongoing costs involved in caring for the residents of the Haifa Home will be a continuing challenge. The ICEJ is the channel through which Christian support from around the world can flow, and your loving care and concern may be expressed.

Please join with us in continuing this very worthwhile outreach to needy Israelis through our local charitable partners. Go to www.icej.org and give to “ICEJ AID” today.

 

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