Supporting the survivors
'I came here and started living'

Meir Panim runs a special program for Holocaust survivors. "We want them to know we love them, we want to be here with them.”

Meir Panim, | updated: 19:19

Holocaust Survivors at Meir Panim
Holocaust Survivors at Meir Panim
Arutz Sheva

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Arutz Sheva visited Meir Panim’s Dimona branch in southern Israel, which provides a program for Holocaust survivors three days a week.

“Everyone here is a registered Holocaust survivor, and we have about 30 folks that come 3 days a week, they come at 8:30, have a hot breakfast, coffee and cake all day, activities, social workers. They have a great day here with us,” said Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of Global Development at Meir Panim.

Holocaust survivor Simi Cohen asserted that she “started to live” after coming to the program.

“I came here and started living. I was always alone at home.

“I am 80 years old and I started to live, really. I see people I talk to people."

Survivor Grepp Carol noted how important the program was for survivors. “It’s important for us, like a second home, like a family.”

“They honor us, give us respect. They offer many different activities - dancing, singing, lots of stuff - it’s great.”

“The people here have lived through unimaginable horrors, so we feel privileged to be able to run this center and have 3 days a week where we know these folks are taken care of, where we have the ability to give them some uplifting, some community, someone looking out for them and taking care of them,” Rozmaryn said.

“The suffering that we experienced was terrible,” Carol commented, adding that being at Meir Panim, “at least, gives a good feeling. After all that we saw in our lives, at least now we can enjoy being honored.”

Rozmaryn said that Meir Panim would love to expand the program for survivors over a full 5-day week, instead of the 3 days currently provided for.

“We would love to have this program operating for 5 days a week just like our centers, so we would love to increase our fundraising so we can give back to them. Because they love it here, they’re happy, they’re together, they’re with social workers, they have someone looking out for them - and we would love to have that every day.”

“We’re not just here to provide funding,” Rozmarin emphasized. “We’re here to lift them up emotionally and sit with them, and let them know that we care about them, they’re apart of our Meir Panim family and - especially now with Rosh Hashanah coming up - we want to let them know that we care about them, we love them, and we want to be here with them.”

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