Reflections from Our Israel Tour: Our Visit with Donata

Israel tours are filled with “wow” moments, but visiting Holocaust survivors is often a trip highlight for many. Meeting Donata was certainly a memorable moment that will linger for a lifetime in the minds of our tour group.

Nestled in the midst of a neighborhood, the Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors is a place of refuge and care for dozens of precious survivors. Owned and operated by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, the home is actually a collection of apartment buildings which full care is provided for survivors in need. Residents know and understand it is Christians who care for them and it makes a significant impact on them. It was definitely our privilege to make a stop there to meet a German-born Jewish woman who shared her story of surviving the Holocaust.

We were so blessed by the beautiful smile on Donata’s face, despite a severe back injury she endured as a child, and which still leaves her stooped as she walks today. (Read Meeting a Holocaust Survivor for more of her story.)

Our group surrounding Donata

Many times, during the tour and since, our tour guests have repeatedly mentioned how valuable it was for us to make a stop at the Haifa Home. Some were deeply moved, particularly when coupling that stop with our visit to Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum). Understanding the joy and zeal of the Jewish people, despite the atrocities of the Holocaust, makes a lasting impression.

Few tours take the time and effort to capture the rare opportunity to be so deeply inspired by a Holocaust survivor, yet it is an experience that should bless every Christian visitor. Not only is it a deeply moving experience that helps solidify Biblical truth and God’s faithfulness, but it is a rare opportunity to love on those who suffered greatly in the name of Christianity. Here is one person’s reflection:

"I have never stopped to consider what life would have been like for Jewish people during the Holocaust. Getting to meet a survivor, then putting it in context during our visit to Yad Vashem was very powerful. I now understand just how horrific the Holocaust was and how faithful God was to bring the dry bones back to life."  (Referencing Ezekiel 37:1-14, which we studied before and during our trip.)

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