Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) Holocaust Survivor Program, in collaboration with Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation, hosted a Pre-Chanukah Event on Sunday, December 3. The event attracted over 550 Holocaust survivors from around New York City.

The event was designed as a social event for Holocaust survivors in order to help isolated survivors leave their home and socialize, serve them nutritious food, create a space for them to enjoy carefree time with friends, and to bring a smile to survivors’ faces. Met Council’s Holocaust Survivor Program focuses on alleviating symptoms of trauma, depression and anxiety through social programs. In addition, these programs connect survivors with Met Council’s case managements program for other services if/when needed.

“This event was so powerful because it reminds our survivors that we truly care about them and that they are part of our community,” recalls Reuben Romirowsky, Met Council’s Chief Development Officer. “I sat next to Chaim, an 89 year old survivor – who was a ‘walk-in’- one of 150 unanticipated, but welcomed guests. He proudly showed me his tie that he ironed, as he got dressed up to attend the event. ‘I haven’t left my apartment in three weeks, but today’s the day!’”

The pre-Chanukah event included lunch, musical entertainment from Shulem Lemmer and Yoely Lebowits, singing, and dancing. In addition to the over 550 Holocaust survivors, in attendance were New York City Council Members Rafael Espinal and David Greenfield, Councilman-Elect Kalman Yeger, and a representative from the Mayor’s office.

“Seeing all the smiling faces and all of our survivors having a great time was such a wonderful treat,” said Judah Zellermaier, Met Council’s Director of the Holocaust Survivor Program. “We were so fortunate to be able to team up with the Lipschitz family of the Haym Salomon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on this outstanding program and we look forward to working on many future projects together.”


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