Once Again I’m Me

pr golden 1 wish P. boat trip
A holocaust survivor recalls the joys of her youth

Today’s Holocaust survivors suffered indescribable trauma in their early childhood and youth. With this knowledge, we aim to sweeten their golden years and enable these lonely, isolated heroes to fulfill a wish. Each is an individual. Each led a life based on his individual likes and dislikes. But now they find themselves lumped together in the same facility with no choice as to room décor, type of food, or activities. With no opportunity to express personal desires, bit by bit, he becomes less of a person. It is for this reason that Ezer Mizion’s Project1 Wish was born.  

P. is a prime example. In her youth, she loved the sea. A boat ride, feeling as one with the sky and the ocean, was the epitome of bliss for her. Now she lives in a room in the nursing home, its décor exactly like that of each of the hundreds of rooms around her. The ocean? Only a vague memory of eons ago. There was no doubt as to what her wish would be. The only doubts were those of the staff who understood the manifold logistics involved to ensure safety. They could have dropped the idea and settled for a video of the ocean. But they knew how much she would love the real thing. The real thing. The ocean spray on her face. The rocking of the waves. The sun. The wind.   How could a video compare! And so the unlikely idea, step by step, with the help of dedicated donors and volunteers, became reality. And one morning, there she was, together with her daughter, about to board a yacht. The plank was covered with a red carpet. Nothing less would do for our VIP. She boarded easily and found an array of fruits and cakes set up for her enjoyment. The real ocean. A real boat. And it was she who steered! She steered the boat and, in so doing, she steered her self- image back to where it had been in her younger days. “I’m me!  A person! An individual being!” Following this amazing trip, P. and her daughter were whisked away for a couple days of vacation in a local hotel. They enjoyed delicious meals and beautiful scenery. What a dream!

pr golden 1 wish D. kosel visit
The Kosel welcomes back a beloved ‘son’.

D. was a man with his own way of living. Shul (synagogue) three times a day. Learning schedule to be kept no matter what and regular visits to the kosel (Western Wall). His beloved kosel. Oh, how he would kiss those ancient stones at each visit, as if it were his first. His worries, his successes, his joys were all whispered into the ears of those stones. How he missed them. His soul longed to go but his body said no. Impossible. Impossible until the 1 Wish Project. His Big Day arrived and he was greeted by the Kosel Rabbi and other staff members as befits a royal son returning home. The engraved T’hillim (Psalms) and the album of pictures will be placed on his night table to be reverently fingered each morning as he relives his special day.

Ezer Mizion is committed to fulfilling the wishes of the 570 cognitively aware holocaust survivors living in 300 nursing facilities throughout Israel. In order to maximize the opportunity and truly enhance their lives, our staff visits with each person individually to create a relationship, providing the respect they deserve. Ezer Mizion also creates a momento, photo or album of each dream fulfilled to enable participants to enjoy the memories long after their special day.

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