Eighty-three years ago this week, on November 9-10, 1938, wild violence against the Jewish people broke out throughout Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland. Many historians cite this event, called Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), as the start of one of the world’s darkest times, the Holocaust.
Thousands of Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses were destroyed through the shattering of windows and the burning of buildings unleashing unimaginable atrocities against humanity. By the time WWII ended in 1945, 6 million Jews were murdered for the crime of being Jewish. Only 3 million European Jews survived, many of whom fought valiantly to immigrate to the Holy Land.
Today, there are approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel of which, the Welfare Ministry and the Finance Ministry’s Authority for Holocaust Survivors’ Rights, note 60,000 live below the poverty line. Living below the poverty line means that they cannot afford proper housing, basic food, medical care or winter heating.
For Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of Israel365 and publisher of Israel365 News, remembering the Holocaust and helping those who survived is a very personal endeavor. Both of his paternal grandparents were survivors.
“My grandfather, George Weisz, was born in Hungary and during WWII was sent to Auschwitz and several other Concentration Camps. His parents were killed, but thank God, he survived and went on to build a life in Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, my grandfather just passed away a few months ago,” Rabbi Weisz shared with Breaking Israel News.
“My grandmother, Peppi Weisz was born in Czechoslovakia and was also sent to Auschwitz. She miraculously survived and after marrying my grandfather, had two children, my father and my aunt.”
Rabbi Weisz’s gratitude for his grandparents’ survival is palpable. Though they merited to rebuild their lives in dignity, he lives with the knowledge that tens of thousands of others, especially in Israel, are not as fortunate. “Poverty and loneliness is a very real and serious problem facing tens of thousands of survivors,” he noted. “For many, they are their family’s only survivor. Additionally, not everyone was able to have children following the war.”
With the anniversary of Kristallnacht upon us, Israel365 has launched a Holocaust fundraising campaign to ease the burden on Holocaust survivors. Donated funds will be given to survivors living in Israel in order to help them have proper food, living conditions and needed medical care.
“The urgency of this campaign is real,” expressed Rabbi Weisz to Breaking Israel News. “With the aging of the survivor population, it is estimated that each passing day nearly 40 survivors die. We must help them live out their final years in dignity and never forget that they suffered enough in their early years.”
Rabbi Weisz pointed out that during Kristallnacht, the Nazi regime perceived the passivity of civilians to the violence and destruction. This signaled that the time was ripe to fulfill their “final solution” to annihilate the Jewish people.
“We cannot remain passive again towards the plight of Holocaust victims,” he said. “Donations to this campaign give physical and spiritual support to those who need it most and sends the message that they are remembered and not alone. Tomorrow might just be too late.”
Israel365 has held several successful fundraising charity campaigns in the past. These include such important projects as planting trees in the Holy Land in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, aiding new immigrants to Israel, and providing help to the needy for Biblical holidays.
Donations to the Israel365 Holocaust Survivors Charity Campaign may be given here.