The Chief Rabbi of Ashdod, Harav Sheinin, blesses the survivors and their children
Some 70 Jewish women who were rescued from hostile villages by Yad L'Achim together with 120 of their children, celebrated Chanukah together this past weekend, in an especially joyous gathering organized by Yad L'Achim.
"This was a special event that has become a tradition over the years," a top official at Yad L'Achim said. "But this year we were surprised by the turnout - some 200 people. The event itself was moving, since for some it was their first time lighting Chanukah candles since their escape. Those who particularly stood out were women and children who only a few months ago left especially hostile villages like Yabed, Reineh, Kafr Qara, Beit Lakiya and others."
Throughout the special day, which this year was held in Ashdod, the survivors and their children enjoyed a variety activities organized for them by Yad L'Achim. These included a canoe trip in the lake, a festive lunch, and a moving Chanukah-lighting ceremony. The event was graced by the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Ashdod, Hagaon Harav Yosef Sheinin, who said he was stunned to see such a large number of survivors returning to Judaism.
"It is moving to see Jewish children lighting Chanukah candles for the first time in their lives, and their mothers shedding tears, that for once were tears of joy," a Yad L'Achim official said, summing up the significance of the event.
Survivors' children light Chanukah candles