March 19th, 2019 – 18 Holocaust survivor women came to the new Helping Hand Coalition for Israel‘s HHC Caearea Villa for a “Women’s Retreat for Holocaust Survivors”. The theme was joy & it was really manifested during the whole 5 hours they spent together. The day started at 10:00 with coffee and refreshments upon arrival by bus from the Krayot area (with the support of JVMI). The women were very happy to relax and enjoy themselves, absorbing the peace and beauty of Caesarea’s landscape view and poolside garden. There was a guest speaker: Irina – from Carmiel – who very joyfully shared a message about the biblical importance of joy and of how God created us to live with “Simcha”, giving her own testimony of how she came from Russia to Israel. These Holocaust survivors were very encouraged and receptive of the message. The staff of 8 very lovingly served refreshments, cooked and served lunch and dessert, and shared the mission of their calling to Israel and loving the Holocaust survivors.
A Helping Hand Coalition board member & “American Rabbi father-figure” Mike Becker also shared and blessed the women and the meal. Besides sharing with the women survivors, there was time to fellowship in intimacy with them, as they enjoyed a relaxing program. The women gratefully received manicures from local cosmetologists and gifts from a local artist; the story behind the scripture of Zephaniah and design were explained and they were very moved by these gifts. The staff heard from ALL of them that they were extremely moved and touched by today’s event; both by the setting of the beautiful house and the care of our service to them. The fellowship was particularly voiced to be close to their hearts as they teared over hearing my testimony about overcoming cancer and rejoicing in God always, especially through hardship. They wholeheartedly thanked the staff for organizing the uplifting day and inviting them to our Villa. As this pilot was successful, there are plans to continue to have more events like it for other survivor women as well. A special thank you to Jewish Voice Ministries International for helping sponsor this event.