Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding areas are home to one of the largest communities of Holocaust survivors in the world, but the numbers of those who remain are thinning. Which is just one reason why you should consider Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s (JCCGCI’s) “Connect2” program, where you’ll be able to help someone live better, while becoming a historical diplomat to better carry the lessons of the Holocaust for another generation.
“Connect2” was created in 2001 to create friendships for Holocaust survivors without family. The program provides each survivor with a weekly visitor to share life stories with, and to discuss the horrors of the Holocaust. It’s therapeutic to the survivor, helping them steer clear of depression, while visitors get a unique experience most will never be able to have again.
The program has already provided more than 10,000 friendly visits to more than 600 survivors living in Brooklyn and the city, many of the parties still remaining in contact today.
Twenty-one-year-old Coney Island resident and Pre-Med student Sandy Truong said she’d recommend the experience to anyone.
“The woman I visit, Rosa Scheck, somehow managed to survive the Holocaust after her parents helped her escape from the train the Nazis had put them on,” Truong said. “It’s so heartening to spend time with someone who was able to overcome such overwhelming difficulties.”
Even simple recreational activities, such as playing Scrabble and taking walks, enhanced Scheck’s daily life. Most importantly, Truong taught Scheck something useful to know in the 21st century.
“I teach her how to use her laptop computer, and have helped her learn how to use e-mail to keep in contact with her relatives in England. I feel so good knowing that she is less lonely as a result of her ability to communicate frequently with her family.”
For further information about “Connect2,” visit the website. To volunteer or refer a homebound Holocaust survivor for assistance, please contact Elisheva Lock, LMSW, at (718) 449-5000 ext. 2310 (firstname.lastname@example.org).