“This is my farewell event,” said Pesach, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor at a special Hanukkah candlelight celebration held for the Keren Hayesod donor community in Germany. Hanukkah is a unique holiday for Pesach who survived the Holocaust, enlisted in the army, fought in the Israeli wars and was even captured by the Jordanians during the War of Independence. He was excited to take part in the joint candle lighting which was attended by over 650 participants.
Pesach shared that, “This is the last time I tell the story of my life. I am no longer young, and I do not have the strength. After hearing my story, I hope you have understood the meaning of the Holocaust. This is the hell of this world.”
He went on to share that, “The events, memories and images from the Holocaust accompany me every day of my life. You could say that is the reason I dedicated my life for the State of Israel. I am proud of that. It is important to me that everyone knows how much we are committed to guarding our only homeland,” he told the German friends.
Keren Hayesod is a national institution that, for a hundred years, has been raising donations from around the world for important projects for Israeli society, while strengthening ties with the Jews of the world to support immigration and absorption, and strengthen poor neighborhoods and vulnerable populations in Israel.
Pesach said that “lighting the candles was the closing of a circle for me. Lighting Hanukkah candles, with Jews and non-Jews from Germany and seeing the Hanukkah Menorahs, even over Zoom, moved me greatly. I was privileged to start a family in Israel, but I am happy to see Jewish tradition alive and kicking in Germany. This is our true victory.”
“Donors like Pesach, have been working with great devotion and love for Israel for a hundred years.” Said Sam Grundwar, Chairman of Keren Hayesod. “They spread light in communities around the world and in Israeli society, both in routine days and in complex times like last year. We thank them.”
The president of the Keren Hayesod fundraiser in Berlin, Adv. Natan Gelbert, shared that “it is exciting to celebrate Hanukkah in Germany with a Holocaust survivor living in Israel, the State of the Jewish people. It was a very exciting event for Keren Hayesod donors in Germany. We thank Pesach for sharing his story, his heroism and his contribution to the State of Israel.”
Pesach concluded by saying: “My dream is for the world to understand that anti-Semitism has existed for centuries and has led to the terrible Holocaust. I have already been in touch and lectured to a third generation about the Holocaust in Germany. For me this is my life’s mission.”