Israel Roytman is a Ukrainian Jew and a musician who made Aliyah twenty-three years ago. Though he was reared in a Jewish home and attended the neighborhood synagogue, he was an atheist until the Lord called him. From that moment, his life was changed.
After attending Bible College in Estonia, he came to Israel to visit his family who lived in Tiberias, a northern city in Israel. The moment Israel came off the plane and his feet touched the ground, his heart was griped with love for this land. He was home. Shortly after that visit, Israel made Aliyah and took residence in Jerusalem where he still resides today.
As a musician, Israel held concerts all throughout the country as well as in countries around the world. But on one particular occasion while performing in Jerusalem, he saw the Holocaust Survivors that came for the music and Israel was moved with love a strong desire to serve them. His own grandparents had died in the Holocaust and here before him were Survivors who are living in Israel alone.
Israel began to work towards gaining permission from the Israel Holocaust Survivor Association to learn who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas that he could bless. After several visits to the Association, they granted him the opportunity to work with Survivors, four years ago.
The first few visits with the Survivors were challenging. They were skeptical of Israel and of his motives. Israel decided to break the ice by asking if he could serve them in painting their homes, or providing a new appliance. He took them on trips to spas and served them catered food. Today, together with CBN Israel, the Survivors are provided with food vouchers and enjoy all the holiday festivities together.
“These people have become my family and I am theirs”, Israel expressed. “They are like the grandparents that I lost in the Holocaust and I am like the family they don’t have in Israel. When they have a need, I am their ambulance. I stop what I am doing, change direction and go to help them.” At times, the Survivors are in tears for joy because of the blessing that Israel brings and is to them. They ask, “Why do you do this for us? We know you are on TV as a musician and travel the world? Why make time for us?” Israel responds plainly, “I am just a simple man like everyone else.”
Through the work that Israel is doing, God has used him to bring reconciliation between those that survived the Holocaust and those that are considered war refugees. He brings them together for various events and occasions so they can see that no matter what they each lived through, they must now come together in love.
One of the prayer requests that Israel shared is the need for additional volunteers and organization. “We are only a few people serving Survivors in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Please pray that God would send us people who have a heart for these survivors and are joyfully willing to serve.”
If you would like to give a gift toward the work we are doing together with our partners in serving Holocaust Survivors, please do so here.
God bless you!