They Survived the Holocaust—Now They’re Facing Covid
Saturday, February 6, 2021
THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
I called on Your name, O LORD, From the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: “Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
January 27 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is an important date in world history, and of course, very close to our hearts.
There are 179,600 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today, 17% of them are over 90 years old. 850 of them are 100 years old or older!
And as with any aging cohort of individuals, Coronavirus has hit them hard. About half of those who are 75 and older that have been infected with COVID, are also Holocaust survivors. And unfortunately, over 900 survivors have already died from COVID-19.
We work tirelessly to help the survivors who are still with us now, but it’s been a difficult year. These brave souls spent their childhood in ghettos, and they are no strangers to isolation. But in their advanced age, being distant from their families, the memories coming back to them bear a striking resemblance. Those who persevere serve as a powerful example to us all.
Margarita (95) was born in Ukraine. When the Nazis invaded, she was a youth. She narrowly escaped with her family—walking to Siberia while battling fear, cold, hunger, and the threat of bombings.
At the end of the war, Margarita settled in Moscow where she spent most of her adult life. When she was 31, her husband died in an accident.
At 70, she made Aliyah with her daughter. But when her daughter died 4 years ago, Margarita was left alone in the world.
"I have no family left anywhere," she said with pain. She lives in a public housing apartment in Tel-Aviv, without an elevator. She struggles to go up the stairs, so she has been stuck at home for 4 years. The loneliness is suffocating, and hurts more than anything else.
Because of our deep love for people like Margarita, we have dedicated our efforts to providing support—especially in times like these. That’s why we’ve been raising funds to supply panic buttons to isolated Holocaust survivors.
- The monthly cost of the service to operate panic buttons is $9.50.
- That’s $114.00 per year
Our aim is to cover this lifesaving support for the most vulnerable—so for the 550 survivors most in need of support, it will cost US $62,700.
As faithful supporters of Israel, we look to you to help us complete this important mission. Your help would be a Godsend to Holocaust survivors—and may indeed make them Covid survivors as well!
May the Lord bless and keep you.
In His Service,
Barry & Batya Segal