Shalom Life | March 28, 2015

Association Assisting Holocaust Survivors Needs Your Help To Make Their Passover Seder Possible

The group, which holds an annual Passover Seder, is in danger of having to cancel their event due to the lack of funds needed to help the 450+ survivors who, without them, will be celebrating alone this year

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 27th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Lone survivors enjoy AIHHS seder

Credit: The Jerusalem Post


The yearly Passover Seder held by the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors (AIHHS) is in danger of being canceled this year. The association, which is run by volunteers, holds annual Rosh Hashanah Seder and Passover Seders for Holocaust survivors who, without their help, would be spending the holiday alone.

This year there’s been an increased demand for their services and so the association has made the decision to hold Seder for some 450 survivors, while delivering food to the homes of an additional 350 individuals. Because of the large number of survivors who would be celebrating the holiday with them, the group was in need of a large enough venue to accommodate the larger number of attendees.

Thankfully, however, the AIHHS received the help of Cassiopeia in Herzliya Pituah, which donated an event hall to them free of charge.

“Most of the survivors are very elderly and it was important to us to hold the Seder the of Passover Eve, so that the survivors can go to sleep with the feeling that as all Israel celebrated the holiday so did they,” said a representative of the AIHHS in a report by The Jerusalem Post.

Unfortunately, conflict arose when the Kashrut supervisor of the hall informed the organization that non-kosher food would not be allowed in the hall for Passover, despite the fact that the event would be taking place prior to the onset of the actual holiday.

Now, the association will be required to supply kosher food for the event, significantly more expensive than providing non-kosher food. Although the group has tried to move the event to another location they’ve been unable to find a hall large enough to accommodate their needs. While they’ve been able to find a kosher catering service for the event, which is willing to provide them food for their Passover Seder at discount, the fee for catering will still be a hefty one.

In addition to being forced to bring kosher food, the association has also been informed that they will not be able to use the facilities at the hall, meaning they’ll also need to pay out of pocket for plates and cutlery, food trucks, heating plates, and any additional food preparation materials needed for the event.

“We might have to cancel the Seder or downsize it to include only around 80 people- which will be a tremendous blow to the Holocaust survivors eagerly awaiting this event,” she continued. “The Rabbinate is simply ruining this event for hundreds of love Holocaust survivor who have nowhere else to go.”

A video by Aryeh, a 94 year-old Holocaust survivor, was released on the association’s Facebook page asking for people to help aid the group in hosting this event for survivors.

“I don’t know if I will be here next Passover and I am asking that the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors hold its Passover Seder,” he said in the video. “We always try to be together on Passover and they hold events for us that make us feel like people, like we can still live.”

“We are missing food, we are missing party and presents like we receive for every holiday and so many little things that are so important,” he continued.

The AIHHS is also asking the general public for their help in making this event possible for Passover.

“Anything that can be donated, from dispensable plates to small gift bags that we generally always provide to the survivors, but this year will probably not be able to do, will be welcome. We are not asking for money directly, but are calling on the public to come to the event on Friday and see for themselves and meet the survivors and bring gifts or do whatever they can to help.”

For those looking to help make this event possible, you can donate through their Facebook Page, or by phone at 03-5257888, or by email at Help1945@gmail.com

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