December 19th, 2013 – a new project initiated by Helping Hand Coalition for Israel (עמותת יד לעזרה ישראל) will bless tens of thousands of Israeli Holocaust Survivors with honorary Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies that they missed in the childhood because of being in concentration camps, Ghettos or evacuations during WWII, or because of living in the former Communist block where they were forced to abandon their national heritage in the face persecution.
The project, called “Bar Mitzvahs For Holocaust Survivors”, starts this month and is being implemented in conjunction with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
The survivors come in buses of 70 people to Jerusalem together with family members and Helping Hand Coalition team members, where they are given a tour around the Western Wall. Then, they are taken to one of the synagogues at the wall, where a traditional ceremony with music and prayers is performed for them by the Chief Rabbi of the Kotel, Shmuel Rabinowitz. The ceremony is concluded by a nice lunch together and congratulations from the Helping Hand Coalition representatives and prayers by the Chief Rabbi.
The first ceremony took place on December 8th, and more are planned on December 23rd and 26th. Most of the survivors are at least 80 years old and are excited to have the opportunity to fulfill this Jewish tradition. So far, they have been supported by the presence of Andrzej Gasiorowski, chairman of Helping Hand Coalition – Global Forum, Luke Gasiorowski, the Vice-President of Helping Hand Coalition, Daniel Rosen, a leader in the Global Forum, and other representatives, who said it was a privilege for them to participate in this project with the survivors.
The purpose of Helping Hand Coalition for Israel is to support and help the survivors in restoring and fulfilling their rights and Biblical heritage to become closer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.