We had an even more moving celebration, led by Tzvia, during which our children brought joy to the hearts of Holocaust survivors at a Hanukkah party held in the Children’s Village. One can only imagine what these heroic survivors went through on those darkest of Hanukkahs, 75 years ago.
The very thought makes one shudder. And to think that now, in our own Jewish state, they are celebrating with our children! What a heart-rending holiday event!
Tu Bishvat was another special occasion in which our children celebrated with holocaust survivors, planting trees and singing holiday songs accompanied by piano and guitar.
Every week our children participate in volunteer activities with holocaust survivors. Our children come to visit them and simply sit with them and listen to what they have to say. They bring along some tasty food from the Children’s Village to make them feel good. These are the most obvious survivors that no one really sees.
They live in hunger and poverty subsisting on maybe $430 a month in the most wretched conditions imaginable, cut off from electricity and whatnot. And our children sit with them, listen to their stories and see pictures of past horrors….
Gizla, a 91-year-old holocaust survivor, tells this heartbreaking tale: “All my life I had it hard, like our patriarch Yaacov, I never had a single day of peace. At the crematoriums in Auschwitz, I watched helplessly as I saw my family turn to dust, but I had it better than I do here. At least there I had close friends and we looked out for each other.
Here I am left with nothing…Just come over to visit,” she tells our children. “All I have left is to tell you my story.”
Through such emotional meetings with Holocaust survivors we are teaching our children about the importance of giving back to the community.