Welcome to a New Resident

—by Yudit Setz, ICEJ Haifa Home Director


For a long time now, Shalom Stamberg and his wife Zelda were eagerly waiting to come live in a new building at our special Home for Holocaust Survivors in Haifa. However, their arrival was delayed until a permit could be obtained for the building’s elevator.

Shalom had survived the Warshaw ghetto and five Nazi concentration camps. He and Zelda visited our Home almost daily, and we treated them like they were residents already.

Sadly, Shalom never took up residence at our Home, as he passed away in August. One month later, his wife Zelda moved into the Home alone..

Zelda was born in Poland in 1931, the second of five children. Her father was a builder during the summer and butcher during the winter.

When the Germans turned her hometown of Sarny into a ghetto during World War II, the family’s neighbor helped them flee by train to Russia. There her father was forced to join the Red Army and died in the war, while her mother fled with five small children. They ended up in Siberia and survived in difficult circumstances.

After the war, they fled to Kiev, and from there, back to Sarny. Half the town was leveled, and few from the ghetto survived. They found a half-destroyed house where they lived for a few months under the protection of a friendly policeman.

Life became too dangerous for them as Jews, and they found themselves fleeing again, this time to Lodz. There they heard about the possibility of going to British-ruled Palestine. Zelda and her brother, Zalman, joined a group of Jewish orphans from across Poland, and together they set off for the Land of Israel. The year was 1947, and their ship, the Moledet, was stopped by the British and sent to Cyprus, where they again were put into a detention camp. In December that year, they were released and made it to the Haifa port, only to be interred once more in the detention camp at Atlit. They were finally released a few months later and brought to a kibbutz in the independent nation of Israel.

Among the orphans at Atlit, Zelda met her first husband—a Survivor from Hungary. They married and had two children. Unfortunately, her husband died unexpectantly at age 51. Several years later, she met Shalom, a widower himself, and they shared 37 good years together!

Today, Zelda loves living at the Haifa Home.

“I don’t want to be alone, and it’s hard for me to cook,” explained Zelda. “Here I have friends, we have activities, and I am very grateful that I could come and live here.”

We are thrilled to have her as a resident.

Your continued support of the Haifa Home community ensures these Survivors will enjoy a good quality of life in their remaining years.