The Shalom House Project hits the road! After months of cancelled events and a nationwide lockdown, it was a thrill to gather in small groups with the survivors of the Holocaust and celebrate life amid this season of Covid-19. With strict restrictions in place to prevent the virus’ spread, the team travelled to hostels and a meeting hall to perform, share, gift, commemorate, encourage, and celebrate with the survivors.
Each week, the Shalom House Project is privileged to host artists from around the world to perform for the survivors of the Holocaust. On March 3rd, the HHC Caesarea Villa welcomed eighteen survivors from Children of War, based in Netanya, to attend a concert by Maurice Sklar. An incredible violinist who has performed with the British Philharmonic Orchestra and in front of thousands of people, Maurice filled the Villa with sweet melodies, both old and new, for the audience’s enjoyment.
On February 24th, Hope Alive, a group from the south of Germany, was invited to the HHC Caesarea Villa to perform a play about a lost son and loving father. The afternoon was exceptional, as love was poured out and received by each person in attendance.
For the third time in one week, a Shalom House event took place at the HHC Caesarea Villa. On February 21st, twenty survivors of the Holocaust from Children of War, based in Netanya, and forty-five visitors from Heights Church Arizona, who are on tour with Radiant Israel, congregated at the Villa for a time of entertainment, community, and encouragement.
On February 20th, Helping Hand Coalition open the HHC Caesarea Villa doors for a group from Kfar Saba and Petah Tikva to host a Shalom House event. Orna Grinman and her team brought a unique piece to the afternoon’s event, highlighting their talents and also sharing their love with the 48 survivors in attendance.
On February 10th, Israel celebrated Tu BiShvat, also known as the New Year of Trees. It is a Jewish custom that, on this day, Jews gather together to celebrate the fruit that has grown and plant trees with their families. Helping Hand Coalition celebrated this radiant day by inviting twenty survivors from Haifa to the HHC Caesarea Villa to enjoy music performed by local musicians and scrumptious food grown in the Land.
Each week, groups of survivors of the Holocaust join Helping Hand Coalition at the HHC Caesarea Villa. While it takes time for some groups to allow their walls to come down, others arrive at the Villa with their arms open and feeling excited about the afternoon’s activities. This week, twenty survivors from Kiryat Haim joined Helping Hand Coalition for a concert event, and the celebrations began as soon as they stepped off the bus! It was a joyful Shalom House event that put a smile on everyone’s faces!
28.1.2020, Refugees from the Foundation of Holocaust Victims (Haifa, chairman of the board Alexander Volk) visited the association, “Helping Hand Coalition – HHC” at the HHC Caesarea Villa.
The co-founders of the association, Andre Gasiorowski and Bozena Gasiorowski – the director of the Shalom House Project – and the volunteers of the association warmly welcomed the elderly people who came from Haifa. They were also joined by guests from England, Germany, and a representative from the third generation of Holocaust survivors from Tel Aviv.
The day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Shalom House event was hosted by Helping Hand Coalition for fifteen survivors from the Foundation of Holocaust Victims based in Haifa. Their first time attending a Shalom House event, the group was lively and didn’t shy away from standing in front of the room to share their stories. Unlike most events, this afternoon focused more on connecting and learning about one another’s lives than listening to a musical performance. It was emotional to hear what each person had been through, but, at the same time, it was also heart-warming to form new bonds with individuals we hope will come back to the HHC Caesarea Villa.
Hope, joy, and love filled the HHC Caesarea Villa on January 13th as twenty survivors from Beit Cham, based in Haifa, returned to Caesarea for another Shalom House event. As the survivors’ bus arrived, hugs and kisses were given in greeting. Everyone was full of jubilation as though last week’s event was not enough for the members of Beit Cham, and they wanted more!
After three days of dark skies and more rain than most roofs in Israel can handle, on January 6th, the sun showed its face, and the skies once again became a glorious shade of blue. 2020 is a year of new beginnings, and to help us welcome in this new decade, seventeen survivors from Beit Cham, located in Haifa and led by Gala, came to the HHC Caesarea Villa for the first time.
More than 15,000 survivors of the Holocaust received assistance from Helping Hand Coalition Israel, a nonprofit organization, that raised millions of shekels, this year!