Holocaust Survivors

Although Jewish Holocaust survivors – average 85 years old today – are generally considered an amazingly resilient group despite the terrors that they endured, those that suffer from post-trauma have been found to adopt harmful health behaviors like smoking, drinking alcohol and avoiding physical exercise. Unfortunately, these survivors also tend to “hand down” such behaviors to their adult children, who are now middle aged or even older.

Last summer, 12 year-old Sydney Jerome from Teaneck, New Jersey, came to Israel to celebrate her cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. During this trip, her family volunteered to pack dried healthful food, like beans and rice, for Israel’s impoverished citizens.

Late November, a group of women from “Mothers With Meaning,” as part of a trip with Masa Israel, visited Meir Panim charity organization’s Dimona branch in southern Israel. The group was so touched by Meir Panim’s good work, as they visited its Holocaust Survivors program, that they decided to arrange a special event for the city’s impoverished and mainstream citizens.

Ben – now Sir Ben – Helfgott, is synonymous with Holocaust education in the United Kingdom. An inmate of Buchenwald, Schlieben and Theresienstadt concentration camps, Helfgott survived the horrors of the Holocaust, eventually arriving in Britain at the age of 15. Having taken British citizenship, he represented the country in weightlifting in two Olympic Games;… Read more »

Each day, elderly Israelis struggle with hunger, loneliness and poverty – and this population is growing. According to Yair Asaf-Shapira, researcher for the Jerusalem Institute, while the elderly population of Israel is lower than other countries due to Israel being a relatively young country, the percentage of elderly people compared to the general population is… Read more »