We care a lot for Holocaust survivors. As the 'invisible' people of society, we know how important it is to go the extra mile and show them how appreciative we are of them -- not just in words, but in actions!
On a beautiful spring morning, in the midst of two national holidays (Jerusalem Day and Shavuot), 45 Holocaust survivors traveled from Be'er Sheva to the Millennium Center in Modi'in for a day of fun and appreciation.
As they came off the bus and entered the Millennium Center, we made sure to give them a grand entrance for royalty!
The tunes of happy and upbeat rhythmic Hebrew songs, led by Shalom Har-Even, played in the background, as they were met with a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
The tables were filled with delicious refreshments: fresh bread, savory dips, healthy vegetables, crispy and sweet pastries, soft drinks, and hot drinks. As they enjoyed these treats, they socialized together as many of them, being elderly, are often alone and without company.
As the party went on, Shalom, the host, sang and played Hebrew songs on the accordion and even dedicated a special song in honor of Jerusalem Day.
With such great joy in the atmosphere, the survivors got up from their tables and broke out in a youthful dance session. They even formed a conga line and danced all around the lobby, with Barry and Batya sharing in this precious moment.
Our hearts swelled at the sight of the joy, smiles, and laughter in the eyes of the survivors, who still suffer from poverty as they do not receive the financial aid that allow them to live in dignity in their remaining years. For them, every opportunity to join a social gathering outside of their house is like a breath of life to a difficult and harsh reality.
At Vision for Israel, we make sure we do not neglect the elderly, especially those who sacrifice so much to make Israel the great country that it is today. It was Barry and Batya's privilege to greet each one individually and spend time singing and dancing with them.
After all the dancing around, they sat down and shared a wonderful lunch till their bellies (and hearts) were full and content.
Before the day was over, we gathered together for one last bit of fun -- a flower weaving workshop.
Each one made a round bouquet of flowers in a mug, led by the florist Yael Elbaum-Shane, who accompanied them and patiently explained the process step by step.
As we didn't want to let them go home empty-handed, each one got to keep their colorful bouquet and mug to remind them of their time with Vision for Israel.
We hope that every time they see their bouquet or drink from their mug, they will feel the love, acceptance, and care that we have for them and know in their hearts that they are cherished.