Holocaust Survivors Programs: Café Europa

Need: The 22,000 Holocaust survivors living in Jerusalem represent one of the most vulnerable populations in the city, facing psychological, physical and financial challenges that require immediate and substantive solutions.

Response: The Café Europa network offers social and support opportunities for the city’s Holocaust survivors. Each café serves as:

•             A meeting place where survivors can enjoy a social and cultural experience.

•             A resource center where trained professionals assist survivors in accessing and maximizing the rights and services to which the city's general elderly sector, and the survivor population in particular, are entitled.

•             A mobile “Café on Wheels” for homebound survivors provides computers, a library and visits by trained multi-lingual volunteers.

Population Served: Over 300 men and women attend Café Europa each week, with the program’s five branches dispersed among the city’s quadrants to enable easy accessibility for each area’s target population:

•             The Rehavia branch serves the southern part of the city

•             The Pisgat Ze'ev branch in northern Jerusalem, also known as "Café Moscow," caters mostly to the Russian-immigrant population

•             The Beit Hakerem café services the western part of the city

•             The branches in the Geulah and Sanhedriya neighborhoods host the men and women, respectively, among the Haredi survivor community.

•             Another 80-100 survivors benefit weekly from the Homebound Services program.

Impact: “Café Europa is where I can socialize, hear a concert, or just read and relax, in the one place where I feel surrounded by those who truly understand me” (a participant).

Partners: Israeli Ministry for Welfare and Social Services; Jerusalem Municipality Elderly Welfare Department; Misgav Lakashish; local community centers; JDC.  

Total Costs: NIS 500,000 per year

Funding Needed: NIS 50,000 per year for each café