Haifa Home Update – March 2022

—by Yudit Setz, ICEJ Haifa Home Director

ICEJ-Haifa-home-Birthday-Lydia-(84)More Lockdowns

During the omicron spike, our Haifa Home residents recently had to start eating their meals in their rooms once again. Two residents and several staff also tested positive. Fortunately, everyone has completely recovered!

For many Holocaust Survivors at our Haifa Home, the fear of becoming ill with coronavirus is even worse than the sickness itself. Many of their friends and family are getting COVID, and they are terrified of getting it too. The isolation they have experienced is equally hard to bear, as they are mostly stuck at home again.

“I only speak to my caregiver and almost forget how to even speak. Can you please visit me more often?” Rivka pleaded.

Our team of Christian volunteers has been doing everything possible to help them during these difficult times. We visited their apartments, helped them make doctor and dentist appointments, and took them out for walks. With Israel experiencing a very cold, wet winter, they are hesitant to venture outside for a stroll. But Birgit, our physiotherapist, tries to get the Survivors moving as much as she can. Some residents enjoy doing gymnastics in small groups, while Will Setz pops in with his guitar to bring a little music and joy!

Yehuda Moves In

Yehuda, an elderly Moroccan Jewish Survivor, recently was referred to our Home by people who knew about our caring community for Holocaust Survivors. Yehuda’s life has not been easy after he became deaf due to sickness as a youth. He has lived mostly on the streets for many years, his few possessions stuffed in plastic bags inside a shopping cart. We have housed Yehuda temporarily to see if the Home is a suitable place for him. Our social worker, Fadi, is trying to collect more details about Yehuda before we decide where is best for him. Meantime, our ICEJ volunteer team helped Yehuda decorate his room and turn it into a home. Several times Yehuda broke down, emotionally overwhelmed by the love and care showered upon him.

Adapting our Birthday Celebrations

Instead of celebrating birthdays together in the dining hall, we now bring residents a cake and celebrate them with music. Yaacov, a long-time resident, just turned 98, while Lydia turned 84.

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