Israel365 Brings Hanukkah Happiness to Holocaust Survivors
On December 26, in honor of the third night of Hanukkah, Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel365 joined a holiday party for Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv. Israel365 distributed gifts purchased through the generous donations of its readers. The event, attended by approximately 100 people of which over sixty were survivors, was both an enjoyable and emotional evening.
“While we are still blessed with the presence of Holocaust survivors in our midst, we must let them know that they are loved and cared about,” expressed Rabbi Weisz.
The Hanukkah party was hosted by Adopt-A-Safta, a group of that pairs young professionals with survivors of the Holocaust who are often lonely and needy. Similar to the Big Brother/Big Sister model, volunteers “adopt” a grandmother or grandfather in Israel who survived WWII and are in need of love and attention.
The party, held at Cafe Europa, a social club for Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv, included menorah candle lighting, Jewish music, dancing, Yiddish language songs, holiday treats and Rabbi Weisz sharing words of encouragement and distributing gifts.
“Before handing out the beautiful sets of Israeli made tea, I explained that not only Jews but Christians from all over the world had donated funds because of their love for Israel and the Jewish people,” shared Rabbi Weisz. “Those present were so moved that a little old lady literally ran up and hugged me expressing her deepest gratitude!”
Experiences like this Hanukkah party nourish both the souls and bodies of Holocaust survivors. “Continually doing what we can to enrich the lives of survivors provides them with the emotional strength to keep on going,” said Rabbi Weisz. “We must seize the moment now to support them in any way we can to help them live with dignity and love.”
Earlier this month, Israel365 partnered with Bridges for Peace in distributing 200 warm blankets to Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. “I am so moved to share with our supporters that their donations to the Israel365 Holocaust Campaign made a big difference to the lives of so many special people,” said Rabbi Weisz.