Dear Friends of Zion,
As Israel paused last week for a moment of silence in order to commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah on Holocaust Memorial day, we at For Zion's Sake continued our efforts to bless the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors in Israel by particapating in the Grand Opening of the Holocaust Survivor Community Center in the Jerusalem. With your help we were able to provide furnishings for the old bomb shelter which today, during times of peace, also serves as their new community center complete with a new kitchen, bathrooms, offices and a learning center.
Many of the Holocaust Survivors were overwhelmed at the sight of the new headquarters because prior to the center's opening, there was really no suitable place for Survivors to gather and meet in the Jerusalem area. We found this to be quite a disgrace for these living heroes who often feel neglect and disregard from the Israeli government and society. As a result, FZS works regularly with the Holocaust Survivor association in Jerusalem to adequately care for the remaining survivors.
Bradley with the founding members of the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto
Survivors at their building inauguration in Jerusalem
We also remember that on April 25, The fourth of Iyar, the day preceding Israel's Independence Day, was declared by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) to be a Memorial Day for those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and for all military personnel who were killed while in active duty in Israel's armed forces. Joining these two days together conveys a simple message: Israelis owe the independence and the very existence of the Jewish state to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.
Yom Hazikaron or memorial day is one of four new holidays that were added to the Jewish national calendar since the creation of Israel. The other three are: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs' Day) Yom HaAatzmaut (Independence Day), and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).
Yom Hazikaron (remembering Israel's fallen)
Yom HaAatzmaut (Independence Day)
Also, this week from April 26 - May 3, 2012 For Zion's Sake will also be hosting our next group of Holocaust Survivors at Haus Schonegg in Switzerland. The main purpose of these retreats is to provide a restful time of healing for these survivors while also scheduling times for them to share their testimonies with Swiss churches, schools and families. We believe the timing of these visits are so vital in Europe, while the last witnesses of this terrible tragedy, are still alive and with us. We hope that by sharing their stories of survival, these victims may help prevent a repetition of what happened 70 years ago. The unfortunately reality of our time is that Anti-Semitism is once again on the rise in Europe as history seems to be repeating itself …
Please pray for the next group of Holocaust survivors who will be joining us at the Schonegg this week, that our time together would be blessed and Yeshua would be glorified amongst these special people…
Here are some photos of the survivors we will be hosting…
Gregory Elper (Born 1931)
Gregory is a Survivor from the Mink Ghetto Belarus. He has a PhD of technical sciences, electrical engineer. Gregory has lived in Israel since 1991 with his wife and two sons. Since 1996 Gregory has volunteered in the archive dept. at Yad Vashem- Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
Vladimir Peker (Born 1940)
Vladimir survived the Bershad Ghetto in Ukraine. He has a PhD as a technologist. Vladimir has lived in Israel since 1990, with his wife and two sons. Vladimir works for the organization "Yad Sarah" the largest national volunteer organization in Israel.
Niosia Dobrobrosky (Born 1940)
Niosa survived the Ghetto in Shargorod, Ukraine. She received her PhD in Economics. Niosa has lived in Israel since 1991. She now volunteer at the "Bituach Leumi" ("National Insurance" in Israel), while taking care of two elderly men.
Anna Berenzon (Born 1941)
Anna survived the Ghetto in Dzigovka, Ukraine. She received her PhD in Economics and has lived in Israel since 1997, with her husband, daughter and son..
Michael Grimberg (Born 1935)
Michael survived Ghetto in Krasnoye, Ukraine. He has a B.A. as a metal technician and has lived in Israel since 1993, with his wife, daughter and granddaughter. He worked as a security guard until 1995.
Haus Schonegg to be Swiss/European center for Ghetto and Concentration Camp Survivors
We believe that the Lord has entrusted us with Haus Schonegg so that the facility might serve as a place of refuge for blessing for others. It seems therefore naturally fitting that the Schonegg should be given to Holocaust Survivors as long as they remain alive for the purpose of serving as a memorial of the Holocaust and to be enjoyed by those who survived. Our vision is to see many survivors, who are the last generation of living witnesses, come and effectively communicate with not only the Swiss, but also those from neighboring countries including France, Germany, Austria and Italy the warnings of atrocity to this current generation.
As we see Islamic factor now threatening not only Israel but also Europe and beyond. We are reminded of the lessons of World War II when the Christian world was for the most part silent, knowing about the genocide of the Jews and yet not openly opposed to it. We at FZS strongly believe that there is a Christian responsibility not to remain silent again….
For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest… (Is 62:1)
Therefore we are appealing to Christians worldwide for moral and financial support to secure Haus Schonegg as an eternal reminder of those who died and for those who survived in the Holocaust. The practical needs are immense as the house is in dire need of repairs and renovation. Our vision to restore the 25 room hotel to its former beauty of when it was first built in 1905 and also make it more accessible for the aging and handicap. We would like to sincerely thank you for your faithful support in FZS reach out to the Holocaust survivors worldwide…
Update on Efim: A few weeks ago, we asked you to pray for Efim, the Holocaust Survivor who lost his wife 2 months ago while he himself is fighting stage 4 lung cancer. Last week, Marianna, Yael and I were able to visit Efim and bring prayers and encouragement… Praise the Lord he is doing a little better. Please continue to pray for Efim for healing and also because we are seeking to have him accepted in the Gerson Therapy treatment for cancer in Hungary.
Bradley, Marianna and Yael Antolovich with Efim (Born 1935)
Finally, also this week we received the good news that the next 20 ft. container is ready to be filled and loaded this Friday in Sweden. The shipments usually take about 6 weeks to be delivered to our warehouse in Jerusalem. Please pray for this shipment to be cleared through all customs hurdles as well as for all finances necessary for clearance. We cannot emphasis enough how important these shipments are to our ministry outreach as the Lord provides us with beautiful new clothing!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support which enables us to Bless the people of Israel in Yeshua's name!!!
Love and blessings to you,
Bradley Antolovich and FZS staff