The Luckner Parents' Home in Nahariyah is an institution that was founded by Elisheva Hemker from Haifa in order to provide a home for Christian women, who saved Jews during the second World War. Martha, who manages the home and is a member of the Haifa community, tells us a little about this wonderful institution..

luckner_gertrudeA few months ago, an article about the life of Dr. Gertrude Luckner and her activities in saving Jews under Nazi occupation and helping all those in need appeared on our website (read article). After the war, Dr. Luckner was concerned about the Christian women who helped Jews survive during the occupation, some of whom had married and immigrated to Israel. After the death of their husbands, they sometimes remained without sufficient income. She had then the idea to found a home for these women.

This is when the work of Elisheva Hemker began. She arrived in the country as a tourist 45 years ago. Her task was to find out about the situation of these women and if there were a need to establish a home for them. She began raising money that then arrived from a fund of the German Ministry of Finance and from private individuals. In 1976, a house was bought at 24 Szold Street in Nahariyah. The house was surrounded by a garden and was situated close to the sea front promenade, with easy access to the center of town. Among the first tenants were many of those heroes who had endangered their lives in saving Jews and had been recognized as Righteous Gentiles by Yad VaShem.

During the first years, when the tenants began to arrive, there was need for cleaning, buying provisions and cooking. Elisheva did all this together with Brother Daniel Rufeisen (of blessed memory), the founder of the Haifa kehilla, and with the help of volunteers from Germany, who came each year. Elisheva not only took on herself the daily care of the house but also served as social assistant. She did all this as a volunteer.

Until 1998 (the year of Brother Daniel's death), each Monday, Broth Daniel would come to celebrate mass for the tenants and they always ensured that the holidays were fittingly commemorated.

In 1992, Elisheva was named head of the association and she continues to serve as a valued advisor. In 2003, she received a prize in recognition of her life work, bestowed by the "Association for Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel". The prize included a financial contribution, which Elisheva donated to the home.

Without family members in Israel, the home was conceived in order to provide an alternative to home and family for the tenants in every way. Each tenant has a private room, including toilet and shower. Most of the rooms have a small balcony or access to the garden. The home functions with a license from and under the supervision of the Welfare Ministry as a home for the aged and the frail. The home has 14 rooms and one of them is meant for a couple, including a bedroom and a living room. The services that are provided include full medical service by a doctor and a nurse, social services, a house mother who is live-in, four veteran and experienced assistants, volunteers from Germany, exercise classes, handicrafts, gardening, outings, cultural activities, cleaning and laundry services. The tenants are served three main meals a day and a snack, all prepared on site, taking into account the preferences and medical needs of each tenant.

Today, among the tenants, there are both veteran Israeli Jews and new immigrants, speaking a variety of languages.

Beit Luckner
24 Szold Street
Nahariyah
Telephone: 04-9920465
(a non profit association)