Apr 17 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Day

As Passover comes to an end, I have been reading about all the solemn remembrances being observed all over our community for the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. I find it somewhat ironic, when there are over 50,000 elderly Holocaust survivors living in Israel, and many thousands of holocaust survivors living in the former Soviet Union living in abject poverty right now. They don’t have bread to eat, going hungry, doing without needed medicines because they don’t have the money.

Why is it that we are willing to have solemn assemblies of remembrance while allowing survivors of the worst event in Jewish history to literally starve to death and pass out of this life without even a minimum of assistance we could easily give? The sad fact is, it is easier for us to light a candle, or present a rose in memory than to dig into our pockets and help someone still in need. For a survivor, its like going to your own funeral and hearing people say nice things about you, while you are alive in your own coffin, and no one seems to realize it. An even sadder fact, is that within the next five years, they will all be dead. The youngest of them are in their 70’s, most are in their 80s. We are the last generation who will have known actual survivors of the holocaust, and the last generation that will be able to help them. The Holocaust deniers are already lining up to say it never happened. What will be when they are all gone; when there is no one left who heard the cries?

The reality is, we can do something. Chevra USA is part of a network of humanitarian aid groups called “Simcha,” that is bringing aid to local distribution points in Israel to help provide aid and alleviate suffering to elderly Holocaust survivors and other poor. We believe this effort will help more people than before, and will work in conjunction with the efforts of local humanitarian outreaches. We are building a huge warehouse in Central Israel, which will receive large shipments of humanitarian aid. We will also be purchasing Iron Shipping containers that we can place all over Israel as distribution points throughout the Land, and keep them supplied from our warehouse. The local humanitarian works will benefit by having a storage facility, that is constantly supplied, and since they are local, they can do the work better than we can. Chevra USA has already purchased one such container, and we hope to purchase many more. If your congregation or ministry would like to sponsor a container, the cost is $3000.00. We can tell you exactly what city your container will serve and put you in touch with the people who will run the distribution. You can even visit your distribution point.

Our goal is to put as many of these in the field as possible. If you can help with this worthy project, we would be grateful. . You don’t have to do a lot to help. Doing something is better than doing nothing. It all helps.

To make a donation, please go here.