“The question, whether it's worth helping Holocaust survivors for only 2,5 weeks, I can only answer: “Yes!” “Every single day was worth it, and every individual person I met! It seems to me, in retrospect, that God himself has put me in this place, not primarily to be a blessing to the survivors, but exactly the other way around. They were a blessing for me! This already took place at my first encounter, in which I received a hug, so loving and tightly, or I even got a kiss on my cheek, almost as if I belonged to the family. And that well noticed even though I am German! As a gift, I take small lessons with me, which I have learned from them
through their nature/character. For this, I would like to take Lila and Baruch as an example. Through this couple, I have been allowed to experience a true appreciation of food. People who have had to suffer such terrible hunger in their past (which I couldn't even begin to grasp) generously gave me their share of food, even though I wasn’t hungry anymore. And this is in a country where food is so expensive! These two, however, gave me the best they had. And to underline this feeling of appreciation once again, they even gave me a bag of food—biscuits, chocolate, bread—to take home! Such selflessness and deep joy in putting the ‘good of others above one's own’ impressed me so deeply, that it will accompany me throughout my life. I am deeply thankful for ‘these hearts’, that I was able to get to know at this time.“
- Lea Bokeloh -
“Many times I had to think about the Holocaust and the survivors and carried an unquietness in me. I so much wanted to „do something“ for them and I applied to become a volunteer at Ner Yaakov. I met many Holocaust survivors and the team of Ner Yaakov trained me patiently in the work, which has many variations. The work is actually very practical, but what is the most important for Inge and the team of Ner Yaakov, is the personal relationship with the survivors the organization is caring for. I saw how everyone was cared for with love and patience. We went for walks together, played games, and had good conversations. It is beautiful that the holidays are celebrated together with the elderly survivors. I was blessed to be here during the Feast of Tabernacles. Together with the survivors, we built the „Succa“ and afterward sat in it and celebrated. Guests from different countries come to Ner Yaakov and they want to learn more about this work. The Holocaust survivors often share their personal life stories and experiences at this gathering. Every one of them has a very personal story and the listening guests - like myself - are deeply touched and very sad about the terrible atrocities these elderly people had to go through in their lives. Even strong men start to cry...! What really surprised me was, that
none of the survivors I have met have rejected my work or me personally, - despite me being German! I must admit...at the beginning I did think, that this might happen. But I experienced the opposite. Everyone accepted me and hosted me so nicely in their homes. It is a miracle of God, that these people have no hate or bitterness. I believe, that through the work of Ner Yaakov and through the many prayers of the organization‘s friends, our Lord has already brought a lot of healing to them. I really have to say: God has truly blessed me very much through my volunteer time with the Holocaust victims. My inner unquietness has left me!
- Gabi Bauer -
"What really surprised me as a German volunteer with Holocaust victims is, that they do not see me as a daughter of the perpetrators,' but simply as a ‘normal young person.’ I am learning so much from them!”
- Simone Speidel -