Refugees in Sabra House

We opened Sabra House to receive refugees from Ukraine. We began receiving them after they had to leave everything behind what they are comfortable and confident with, fleeing from the horror that suddenly shook their lives. They arrived to Israel, via Poland, Moldova and Romania, with mixed feelings, confused, fearful and disabled. Yet at the same time thankful for a place like Sabra. A safe place, where we take care of them, and try to comfort them. I am so proud of my team, who with so much patience, love and all their energy are taking care of them. Giving them the time to make necessary choices. Some of them are Jewish and they choose very consciously to come to the Land. Temporarily we give them a shelter over their heads, a place to stay, food, medicine, but also assistance with moving into their house, helping them with translations etc.

There is a couple that we are helping, Diana and her husband Vasiliy from Kiev. Diana was working in the Jewish Agency (Sachnut) as a coordinator to encourage and help young people to go up to the Land. For her every boy or girl who decided to make Aliyah to the Land, felt as a great victory.  And now she and her husband they themselves came as refugees to the Land. They decided that their home will be in Afula. She even has a wish to be a volunteer in Sabra, to help the refugees, new Olim and Holocaust Survivors. I am really touched that our faithful God choose Sabra for this work.

Below you can read some feelings from our precious volunteer from Finland, “Ruth”:

”One day stepping inside Sabra House two ladies – a mom with her daughter. They were the first refugees whom we welcomed from Ukraine. We hugged each other strong and warmly and shared the pain, “without words”. I tried to imagine – at least a little bit – what they had gone through so suddenly.  

During the following days we lived together our daily life in Sabra House, while for them everything in their lives had changed – EVERYTHING. All that was dear to them had been smashed into ashes. How would I be able to show with my behaviour that G-d of Israel hasn’t forgotten His nation? Suddenly one evening I heard the mom shouting her pains out, crying with a loud voice… However during this hard time in their lives they did show kindness and gratefulness towards our little team. The warm socks which ladies had knitted with prayers and blessings in a faraway country got them to smile.

So easily we say: “Comfort, comfort my people…”, but these days those words got a very deep and painful meaning for me. To give something from my inner self; to understand their despair is not easy. Feeling so helpless how to give them my comfort.

Then arrived another interesting person and I celebrated with him his first Shabbat in Israel. Both of us speaking a different language and we could not understand each other. Facing the fact that this strong, athletic grownup in this new, hard situation, is like seeing a little child that needs much patience and love.

Next arrived in the middle of the night a tired, sad couple. Again: welcoming them to Sabra House. We hugged and through burning tears I only was able to say “ani ohavet otchem” (I love you). 

So difficult for me to write about these moments, in tears.. empathetically contemplating about the pain they carry constantly. ’Comfort…’” ~ Ruth


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