October 20, 2009 / 2 Cheshvan, 5770
Jutka Takacs and her sister arrived in Israel during the Sukkot holiday. The elderly sisters who are living in Hungary survived the Terezinstadt Concentration Camp during the Holocaust and currently participate in the Jewish Agency Intergeneration Project. Coordinated by Eran Elbar, the Jewish Agency's Education Department Representative for Central/Eastern Europe, the project brings together the generation of Holocaust survivors with Taglit-Birthright Israel graduates in their twenties who are increasingly disconnected from their elders.
The highlight of the program is a joint trip to Israel where they share the experience of discovering the country. For the survivors, it is their first trip; for the young adults, it is their second. Since it is their second time, the young adults serve as guides and assistants for the seniors.
Jukta was so moved by the trip to Israel, by seeing the land which she had heard so much about, by the warmth of Eran and the kindness of the students who participated in the project that she sent a letter of thanks to Eran and the Jewish Agency:
Thank you very much for the possibility to participate in the trip to Israel within the frame of the InterGeneration project. It was elevating to celebrate Simchat Torah in the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. I could bath in the Dead Sea, in the Mediterranian Sea. I am not going to list the whole program, thank you for everything.
I could never have had the possibility to get there [to Israel] by myself. It was a miracle to see what Jews have created out of nothing. I can only speak in superlatives about the group of young people: they were of help always and in everything, we made a great team together. And the most important: our group leader, Andrea Szonyi managed to keep the group together, we owe our thanks to her too.
Without her command of English and her interpretation in Yad Vashem, it would have been only a museum.
Intergeneration is an extraordinary educational project that was initiated in Budapest in 2007 by the Jewish Agency together with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The project lasts for five months during which 10 young adults and 10 Holocaust survivors, facilitated by social workers and the project coordinators, meet regularly on a monthly basis. To sponsor an intergeneration meeting between youth and Holocaust survivors or to enable a Holocaust survivor from Budapest to visit Israel for the first time click here.