NEVER FORGET — When remembering is an act of love

This week the world commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day, marking one of humanity’s darkest hours.

It has been 76 years since the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. However, the atrocities committed during those years extend far beyond Auschwitz. In fact, the majority of Holocaust victims come from the former Soviet Union, many of whom managed to immigrate to Israel in the past 30 years.

There are currently 178,400 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, with 15,121 of them passing in the past year — an average of 41 survivors pass every day. A truly passing generation to whom there is still a tremendous outstanding debt.

Holocaust survivors are usually in worse physical, emotional and financial shape than others their age. The effects of constant beating, abuse, starvation, frostbite, physiological, physical and sexual violence — the toll these horrific events have taken on these precious people is staggering. So many of them were orphaned and many more are now completely alone, with no family or relatives to care for them in their old age.

When I first approached a local Holocaust center dedicated to supporting these senior survivors, I was asked who are the people this help would be provided by. I told them it came from Christians who love Israel, who wish to bless her people, and especially those that have suffered so much at the hands of those that called themselves “christians” during the Holocaust.

I was rejected. Aaron, an amazing 78-year old survivor who heads this center told me: “Christians? No, thanks.” I felt his pain deeply. I knew exactly where it was coming from and I realized that there are no words that can convince, only actions of love.

Many years have passed, and now after having worked and helped thousands of Holocaust survivors, Beit Hallel is received as a dear friend by these precious people. Not only that, but this work has sown seeds of love in their hearts and transformed their view of Christians. Now whenever I speak to Aaron and mention the dear Christians that selflessly and generously help and give to this cause, he always receives me with a big smile, saying: “After all these years I can feel we can trust Christians, they have been our best friends these years.”

To know that the labor of love you have supported so generously has caused the hearts of the deeply hurt to transform, open and receive the kindness that is behind your generosity — that is the greatest act of love you could’ve done. It has accomplished so much!

Yet time is running short. With so many of these precious Holocaust survivors passing every day, — 900 of them died of Covid alone this year, we cannot help but feel the clock ticking, wanting to do so much more for them.

If you feel the same urgency as us, we encourage you to become involved in the incredible work of Beit Hallel with the Holocaust Survivors, dignifying them in their last days. Not a single one of them should have to make the choice between buying groceries or medicine.

Consider giving to support these precious people TODAY!