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Social events for Holocaust Survivors and WWII Veterans

Solitude, abandonment, and lack of concern are some of the negative emotions that hang over many holocaust survivors like a dense cloud throughout the land of Israel. Just like the elderly in other parts of the world, many of them have little or no connection with families, children, or have anyone to take care of them.

The process of getting to that age and having a continued need for community interaction is something that may be hard to understand until you are at that place of need yourself. But adding to that the scars carried for years formed in extreme suffering, the challenge becomes that much more painful.

Today we have social media that helps us to connect with each other and that has its strengths and weaknesses. But the elderly generation in some ways has not stayed connected through the newer ways we utilize and this has led to a heightened sense of loneliness and isolation. We all have a need to be connected and needed by others. When this connection gets lost, people have a hard time justifying their existence, many lose their desire to live.

Many of the Holocaust survivors came to Israel after World War II, they became veterans and fighters in the wars that established the state.  They fought to pass on to us a place where we could live in safety and no longer be a people living in vulnerability, often without the most basic right, the right to life.

After numerous conversations with Holocaust survivors, they all have the same request and the same need.

“We want someone to care about us, to talk to us and ask about our day.”

Thanks to the financial support of CBN Israel and the faithfulness of our partners here in Israel, we can organize social events for the Holocaust survivors and WWII veterans who are living among us. We sing with them, dance, eat together and, most importantly, listen to them and their stories. In addition to the social events, our partners visit these survivors living in their area on a weekly basis, bringing them food, walkers, and medicine.

Seeing them tear up with emotion at the realization that there are people around the world that care for them is a wonderful experience. Simple acts of kindness eventually raise questions about faith in the Lord, and create an openness to the message.

We are so thankful for our supporters from around the world, for enabling us to show the practical love of God to others.

May the Lord bless you and your families.

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Sophie’s Miracle

“I couldn’t believe my mother found me after the war. I couldn’t. It is a real miracle.”

Sophie opened our meeting with a big smile on her face. She said her life is a testimony to God’s intervention.

Sophie was born in Latvia on the day that World War II began. When she was only a few months old, the Nazi’s started bombing Latvia from the Baltic sea. Over time, the bombing reached Sophie’s house and they were forced to evacuate.

Sophie’s father was recruited to join the war in the Baltic sea. He died a few days later.

A good Samaritan took Sophie’s mother in and hid her in the basement.

A week went by and, a neighbor informed the Nazis of their whereabouts.  The morning after Sophie was separated from her mother. The Nazis had taken her to an orphan home to be a part of experiments conducted by the Nazi doctors.

Sophie’s mother worked in the camps and was raped daily by the guards, but she never gave up.  She promised herself that she would survive the war and find her daughter.

Meanwhile, Sophie and other babies who were cruelly separated from their parents were injected with various shots and tested on like lab rats.

Every day babies died from the experiments, the unbelievably cold weather, hunger, and lack of human warmth and care.

At the end of the war, when the Soviet army conquered its territories back and freed the camps, Sophie’s mother started her journey of looking for her daughter, who was then a 5-year-old girl.

Thanks to the Red Cross, she found Sophie.

In the 1970s, Sophie and her husband received their documents and finally immigrated to the Land of their Forefathers.

Today, Sophie is a part of the Holocaust survivor’s center in the city Carmiel.

She is an active member who helps other survivors like herself as well as receives the necessary help that she needs.  

She says that being a Holocaust survivor, old and lonely is a burden. Not being able to buy food and medicine and live on only the ridiculous pension is not possible.

CBN Israel is an active supporter of the Holocaust survivor’s center and its ministry.

“The people who run the center are the kindest people I have ever met. For me, the love, care, and compassion they show is nowhere to be found. I could not but wonder what is this endless light that shines through them,” Sophie said with a big smile on her face.

Sophie continuously thanked CBN Israel and all its supporters for their generosity. She wishes everyone good health and, says CBN Israel is the reason she and many others like her, have hope and someone to care for them and their basic needs.

May God bless you abundantly. 

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A Great Testimony, Visit with Alina

As part of our food distribution program, our team in the south meet many Holocaust survivors, and other elderly people who don’t have the ability to provide themselves with the basic need of food. 

Our partners working in the south of Israel went to visit Alina, a dear 80-year-old woman, which resulted in a powerful testimony of a divine appointment.  

Alina had undergone several surgeries throughout the years and was so debilitated that she was unable to lift more than a kilogram. Our team visited her in her apartment with food and other essentials, which touched her deeply to know people cared that much. The team spent some time with her in fellowship and getting to know her further. 

She told us how she had immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine nearly 20 years ago and that it was a dream come true for her as a Jewish woman to return to the Land of her forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

The presence of the Lord was tangible at that point that Alina couldn’t help but be touched by the Holy Spirit. She then opened up and shared how during one of her many surgeries she died clinically. She remembers that she left her body and could see her own body from above, she then remembers how she suddenly saw the world from on high, saying how she felt an incredible light all around her and a feeling of complete peace, but then in an instant she was brought back and she found herself back in her body in the recovery room after the surgery. 

This precious lady has now come into newness of life in Jesus, full of strength and hunger to know her Savior more intimately. We gifted her with an audio Bible and she is thoroughly enjoying it! 

It is truly a moment out of time, when God comes and meets one person, in their own home, not because of who they are, but because of who He is – a faithful and loving God.

We want to thank you deeply for the faithful and on-going support you provide us with. You are a great part of the biggest changes in people’s lives all over the Land of Israel. 

May you be filled with the presence and the blessings of our Father. 

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Holocaust Survivor Leaves Behind A Legacy

This week we lost a great woman. Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor, passed away at 85-years-old. She left behind a legacy, a life demonstrating forgiveness, serving as an example for future generations.  

Eva was born in Port, Romania in 1934 to Alexander and Jaffa Mozes who were farmers. In addition to two other sisters, Eva had a twin sister Miriam.  In 1940, the family was transported to Auschwitz. 

Upon arrival, an SS officer noticed that Eva and Miriam were twins. After confirming with their parents that they were twins, Eva and Miriam were sent to take part in Josef Mengele’s cruel experiments. Josef Mengele was the notorious doctor at Auschwitz, also known as the Angel of Death, who performed deadly experiments on those in the concentration camp.  

According to Eva’s testimony, Mengele would experiment on children six days a week. They had various types of deadly tests conducted on them and lethal injections used as a means for spreading illnesses among the children. Despite this, she never gave up hope. She believed, imagined that she and her sister would escape alive.

In January 1945, the Soviet army liberated the camp, and Eva and Miriam went to live with their aunt in Romania.

Seventy years later in April 2015, Eva traveled to Germany to testify in the trial of former Nazi Oskar Groning. During the trial, the two shared an embrace and a kiss where Eva thanked him for his willingness at age 93, to testify to what happened more than 70 years ago. 

Eva chose to live a life of forgiveness, she saw that living in bitterness, and anger was negatively influencing her life. 

Here at CBN Israel, we support Holocaust survivors and provide a platform for those to speak up on behalf of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. 

We honor those who lost loved ones to this horrific war. Through our partnerships with local congregations, we provide supplies, food parcels, medical support, and coverage for their basic needs.

This is all made possible by you, our faithful supporters. Thank you for your commitment and support to the people of Israel.

May the Lord bless you abundantly.  

 

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Yom HaShoah – If Not Now, When?

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted […]” (Matthew 5:4)

This week Israel observes Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, to honor and remember the 6 million Jews who perished under Nazi rule in World War II. For many countries, the reality of the Holocaust is a strong message for how low humanity can fall, and that we must all work to commemorate this tragedy in order to uphold the promise of “never again”. However, in Israel, the reality of this catastrophe is still very much alive today. At the beginning of 2019, the Israel Census Bureau reported that there was a total of 212,000 remaining survivors in Israel, of which, the majority are all over the age of 80 years old. Nearly 40% of the survivors who reside in Israel today arrived during a very concentrated window of time between 1948 and 1951, immediately after the Israeli War of Independence and the recognition of Israel as an official country for the Jewish people. Many modern-day Israelis are either related to or know a Holocaust survivor, so the memory of this tragedy does not feel so distant. However, with every passing year, thousands of survivors pass away, and their first-hand testimonies die with them. It is because of this reality, and the rising rates of anti-Semitism once again, that many survivors and Jews across the globe have felt an urgency to record and chronicle their stories to keep history from repeating itself.

Every Yom HaShoah a loud air-raid siren rings out throughout Israel; cars come to a stand-still on highways, workers and students rise from their desks, and a nation of people stand in silence for two minutes of solemn reflection and mourning. Despite this annual display of honor and sorrow for those who experienced the Holocaust, the survivors who reside in Israel today often still struggle with some fundamental needs. Because many experience a recurrence of old memories and trauma as they enter into old age the survivor community in Israel can often experience depression, isolation, and feelings of despair and loneliness. Not only this, many survivors have few familial ties, as their family in Europe often perished, and in their old age, they lack community and connection and sometimes financial support. It is reported that over 45,000 survivors live below the poverty line in Israel. In addition to emotional needs, usually, they also need day-to-day economic support. This demand has always touched the heart of CBN Israel, and as an organization, CBN has aimed to honor and support Holocaust survivors throughout the other 364 days of the year as well.

Through our partnerships with multiple Messianic congregations throughout Israel, CBN gives monthly food parcels, vouchers, medical support, and coverage for other basic needs to survivors in numerous cities. In the Northern region, in partnership with Rivers of Living Water Congregation in Karmiel, we provide monthly food parcels for nearly 900 survivors! Through our support, partners like the Karmiel congregation can also offer emotional care by hosting outreach events, inter-faith services, and allowing God to touch their hearts in whatever way they can. Believers create a space to sing, dance, and pray for the survivors at different holiday celebrations as well as the weekly service that many survivors have made a weekly staple now. Attendees say that clearly their hearts are very touched by the end of each gathering. One of the facilitation leaders for the survivors’ support stated that “service should not only be by bread alone, but also through whatever way we can show God’s love to bring more care and peace into their lives. Most importantly, they need to know that they are not alone, and we are there to show them that they never can be”.

It is with an open heart that CBN Israel and our partners do everything in our power to extend God’s love to Holocaust survivors in Israel while they are still among us. In only a few generations the number of survivors will be dwindling, so the urgency to support them today has never been more pressing. If not us, who will show them comfort and provide for them emotionally, financially and spiritually in their final years? If not now, when? If you wish to pray for the care and provision for the remaining survivors in Israel, we ask that you pray that they may ‘mourn with hope’ for those who have already passed or perished, for the eternal love of God covers them.

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Residents from Sderot De-stress in Israel’s “Healing Waters”

With the recent security situation at the Israel-Gaza border, the elderly residents of Sderot have been experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. The south-west city of Sderot is only eight miles (or 13 kilometers) away from all the “action” at the gaza border. The continual sound of gun fire crosses the distance and is a constant reminder to the Sderot residents that they must live on alert. One can imagine the toll that takes on the mind and body over time. 

Thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel, our partners in Sderot were able to relieve some of this tension by taking a group of fifty resident Holocaust Survivors to the rehabilitating resort of Hamei Yoav. This resort located just twenty minutes north of the city is known for it’s thermal mineral pools. The heat in these thermal waters helps reduce blood pressure and bring relaxation to the muscles. These waters are also full of sulfur and minerals that are absorbed into the skin and are an effective treatment for those who struggle with mobility or are suffering from stress and anxiety.

 

After a great time of relaxation, everyone enjoyed a sit down meal on site. The group was filled with joy and thankfulness to have had this opportunity to be refreshed and to forget, if only for a short while, about the constant struggles they live with every day.

At the end of the trip one of the leaders who himself is a Survivor, spoke on behalf of the group; “Thank you so very much for such a wonderful day”! The group agreed with cheers and applauds.  Every person present also received a Bible to remind them that the God of Israel is on their side and He is faithful to keep His covenant with Israel.

We at CBN Israel want to thank those who help us bring healing, love and care to over fifteen hundred Holocaust Survivors throughout Israel through your generous donations. For those who have a heart for Holocaust Survivors and desire to partner with us, we invite you to visit our website to learn what you can receive by becoming a monthly partner today!

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War at the Border, Love in the Home

Thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel, the staff were recently able to gain an additional partner to serve the locals in an area nearby the Israel/Gaza border. These new partners are excited for the opportunity to expand their services to the local Holocaust Survivors as well as to those who are suffering from fear and trauma. In the short time they have been working together with us, we have already seen much fruit! Here are just a few stories of those who have have received love, care and hope. 

*Andreas, a sixty-five year old widower has a son who works in a secret unit in the Israeli forces. He is alone and not able to connect much with his son. But now, he looks forward to a routine visit from our partners who offer him encouragement and support. He appreciates the opportunity to discuss his difficulties in life and loneliness without his wife. This month, he had a birthday and we went to visit him, pray with him and gave him a present for his birthday. He was so very thankful. 

Yelena, age seventy-nine, is a Holocaust Survivor who lives alone. Her two sons and their families live many miles away in the center of the country. The partners of CBN Israel accompanies, supports and assists Yelena in whatever way she needs. Recently, Yelena underwent surgery on her knee. After the surgery, we visited her in the hospital in a rehabilitation unit at Tel Hashomer. When she returned home, she asked for our help in receiving approval for assistance through the organization Yad Sarah. We continue to support Yelena through home visits, prayer and encouragement along with the gift of food vouchers and toiletries.

Tamara, age eighty-seven, is lonely and without a family in Israel. But now, she looks forward to our home visits which are an emotional experience every time. She says, “It is good that I have you. You are my family”. We support Tamara with encouragement, prayer and an opportunity to express herself while we take the time to listen with a sympathetic ear. Recently, Tamara was taken to the hospital after her health care nurse found her unconscious. Because her caregiver knows she can turn to us whenever she needs, we were updated on the state of her condition. When the good news came that she could return home, we picked her up from the hospital and assisted her back to her house. The therapist said in amazement, “Tamara lives in a miracle. It is so good that you are always here to help”. 

It is because of your generous support that CBN Israel is able to reach out to the hurting, the lonely and the needy. Now, if you become a monthly partner you will receive the free gift of three of our documentaries about Israel! Become a monthly partner today! 

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Without Your Help, She Wouldn’t Have a Home

Vera left the troubled memories of her past behind her in the Former Soviet Union as she and her family looked forward to a new life in Israel. She, her husband, and their children settled down in a pretty, little town close to the Mediterranean Sea nearby some friends who had made Aliyah together with them. Life in Israel was good for Vera and she was thankful. 

But as time went by, her husband grew ill and passed away. As the loneliness set in, Vera clung to her friends even more. It was through these friends that she learned of the work of CBN Israel and became a member of the program for Holocaust Survivors. Here she found enjoyment in the home visits, holiday celebrations and occasional outings around the country. 

One day, Vera phoned Jenny, a partner of CBN Israel, with great concern. The water pipes in her home were old and had rusted. They had burst beneath the floors and the entire house was flooded with water. She was suddenly without a place to sleep and without enough means to pay for the repairs. 

Thanks to those who give generously to CBN Israel, the staff were able to cover the cost to replace the pipes and restore the floors in her home. While the repairs were in process, Vera found comfort in Jenny’s friendship and hospitality. 

Vera was amazed by the love and care she was shown and with deep gratitude she said, “Thank you so much for all you have done for me! Without your help, I would not have a home”. 

Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors like Vera have received love, care and hope through the work of CBN Israel. Yet every month, we say goodbye to dozens of them as they age and pass away. Now is the only window of opportunity we have to show them God’s love. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us today! 

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A Survivor’s Contribution to the Nation of Israel

On Sunday, May 6th, Holocaust Survivor and Professor of USSR Academy of Science, Leonid Dinevich, invited a group of his friends, including the staff of CBN Israel, to the Tank Museum in Latrun where he works as a radio-physicist, climatologist and ornithologist. Here he introduced the group, most of whom are fellow Holocaust Survivors, to his work with the MRL-5 Radar and shared the backstory of how he and the radar immigrated to Israel. 

In the Former Soviet Union Dinevich was a well respected, Red-Army General, and a specialist in atmospheric physics. He and thousands of his employees researched ways to manipulate weather including cloud-seeding and hail prevention. The information was gathered through the use of the MRL-5 Radar. When Dinevich made Aliyah to Israel with his family in 1991, he met Professor Yossi Leshem at the University of Tel-Aviv and learned of Israel’s need to track clouds and birds through the use of the MRL-5 Radar. This radar could help in preventing hail from destroying new crops, bring an increase in rain through cloud-seeding and also help prevent plane crashes due to clashes with the millions of birds that migrate through Israel. Dinevich was successful in bringing the radar to Israel from the Former USSR, and as a result, both pilots and birds are safe to fly the skies in addition to over a billion dollars of military expenses saved thanks to his research. 

When Dinevich finished conducting the tour of the museum and had shared on his work with the MRL-5 Radar, the group showed their appreciation with words of gratitude. Each of these Holocaust Survivors from the Former Soviet Union can appreciate Leonid’s contribution to the nation of Israel. 

Leonid Dinevich is one of countless Holocaust Survivors who have helped build the nation of Israel these past seventy years. And we at CBN Israel consider it our privilege and duty to return our thanks to these co-founders and forerunners through our care and acts of service. One of the ways we are able to give back is through the distribution of walkers and walking sticks. Leonid and his wife are among many who have received these gifts of mobility, thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel. Partner with us and help us give back to those who have given their lives to the building up of the nation of Israel!

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Holocaust Survivor Leader Requests Meeting to be Held in Christ Church

A group of Holocaust Survivors from Jerusalem filed into the historical building of Christ Church last Monday morning per invitation of CBN Israel’s partner, Israel Roytman. The event was a musical performance by a family of Russian immigrants who go by the name of, “Jerusalem Keytlin Band”. Each member of the family band plays a different string or wind instrument creating a complete ensemble. The songs chosen for the event were Romanian Folk songs including their newest piece, “Schindler‘s List”.

Heads bobbed to the music and smiles spread across faces as the Survivors enjoyed these nostalgic songs they know and love so well. And of course, the talented and beautiful children of the Keytlin Band captured the hearts of everyone in the room. 

The event was held two days before Tu’Bishvat, Israel’s celebration of the trees, in which Roytman presented each person present with a gift of a fresh bouquet of flowers. The Holocaust Survivors were very thankful and shared their gratitude through hugs of appreciation.

 

Michael, the leader of the Holocaust Survivor organization asked specifically to hold the meeting in Christ Church. He said, “We feel closer to God in this place. We feel His presence here”.  Mary, a staff worker from Christ Church, thanked the Survivors for coming and greeted them warmly in the name of the Lord. “We are thankful for who you are and may the Lord bless you in everything”, she said. 

After the event, Roytman treated the group to a meal in the Christ Church dining hall where they were served meat, salads, breads and dessert. 

 Every month, holiday celebrations, events and the distribution of food parcels take place in ten different cities, with over one thousand Holocaust Survivors through the partners of CBN Israel. These who have suffered much in their lifetime, experience love and joy in their golden years through this program. We are ever so grateful for all the prayers and support of those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel and help make a difference in the lives of Israelis. 

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