vacciner 30,000 survivants

Thousands of Holocaust survivors are experiencing difficulty resuming their daily routine.

Over a year has passed since the outbreak of COVID-19, and at Yad Sarah we are working to help these survivors return to the normal activities that they engaged in prior to the pandemic.

Holocaust survivor Alexander Brenner, 95, was independent until a year ago. After a year of being shut in because of Covid-19, he is no longer able to walk without assistance. Last week, with the help of an electric
scooter provided by Yad Sarah, his mobility has been restored.

“Until Covid-19, Abba was independent and got around independently under his own power,” explains his son
Effie Brenner. Since the onset of Corona and to protect his life and health, Abba has remained at home, and as
a result of the extended period of being at home, he lost his ability to take more than a few steps.“

According to his son, after Alexander was vaccinated, he attempted to walk outside his home. However, due to
his discomfort using a cane, his mobility was impaired.
At this point Moti Lobel, a long-term volunteer at Yad Sarah as well as a close friend of Alexander, entered the
picture. Moti suggested Alexander use a motorized scooter from Yad Sarah; with its help Alexander would be
able to get around on his own outside of his home.
Today (Wednesday) Alexander and his son visited Yad Sarah in Raanana, received guidance from branch manager Moshe Teichler, and after he mastered and felt comfortable with the scooter, he borrowed it, and
took it home.

“Even though Abba doesn’t have a driver’s license, he quickly learned to master the motorized scooter and
enjoyed riding on it freely,” says his son. In addition, in the showroom they showed Abba other accessibility devices that will enable him to live more comfortably and securely, such as a grab bar for the shower to
prevent slipping.”

Alexander Brenner, was born in 1929 in Khust, Czechoslovakia, (now part of Ukraine). He was a teenager during the Holocaust. He was confined in the Khust ghetto; from there he was taken with his family to Auschwitz Birkenau, where he was separated from his brother, Eliyahu, who was sent to the crematorium. From there he
was sent to a concentration camp in Warsaw and as the Russians approached, was sent to the camp at Dachau.

He was separated from his father, Yaakov, who perished there. From Dachau he was taken to the camp at
Mildorf and subsequently was on a train that was bombed and later freed by the Allies. Alexander, together
with his sister Miriam, managed to get to France to the home of a cousin, and in 1949 he made Aliyah to Israel
where he established his family. This is where his three children were born followed by 7 grandchildren.

“For many years, Abba did not share his experiences during the Holocaust. We were able to see the effects of
the trauma he experienced especially around Holocaust Remembrance Day, when he would suffer severe migraine attacks that would last several days. In recent years Abba opened up, initially with the grandchildren who went on heritage tours and subsequently in a movie and a book that were published about his personal story by Yad Vashem. Since Abba started to share the horrors that he experienced, it has been easier for him and his post trauma attacks have passed.”

The Director of the Holocaust Survivors Department, Edna Hischrik explains that the organization’s volunteers
have encountered many Holocaust survivors who have functionally deteriorated because of the lockdowns
during the period of Corona.
“In many cases we are talking about people who were independent, and now, even after they have been
vaccinated against Covid-19, they remain dependent and are having difficulty leaving their homes. We are making every effort to offer them assistance to help them maintain mobility, especially to enable them to feel secure at home.”

The special service center that assists Holocaust survivors contacts them and eases their isolation, clarifies their
medical needs, and offers solutions. Many survivors are connected to our emergency call center with an
emergency button and fall sensor device. Depending on their needs, they receive home medical services
including dental care.”
In addition, Yad Sarah enables Holocaust survivors to document their life stories with the assistance of
volunteers who help them collect their memories and create a personal book of their life stories.

Rabbi Uri Lupolianski adds, “Unfortunately, in the last year, 6,000 Holocaust survivors have been infected with Covid-19, and about 1,000 of them passed away. Many also continue to suffer post Corona symptoms. Our
obligation is to assist these survivors in living the rest of their lives with respect and in the best manner possible. Many of the Holocaust survivors that we service are not interested in old age homes or assisted living
facilities. It is important to them to remain in their homes in their natural environment. We, at Yad Sarah, are
charged with helping these elderly people receive comprehensive solutions in their home including complete
home hospitalization services when necessary.