Martha, a member of the Haifa kehilla and director of Daniel House, sent us the following details about Daniel House, a unique old age home in Haifa.

simeon-anne-mediumEsther, a sister who lives in a hermitage in the Judean Hills, sent us an explanation of a prayer group that was founded nearly twenty years ago within the framework of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities and that prays for peace.

Two members of the Jerusalem community founded a prayer group based on the rosary in 1990. This group has continued to pray in the heart of the community for many years and continues until today. The group gathers once a month, the first "Day of the Lord" each month at 17.00, an hour and a half before the celebration of the mass. The prayer, which is the prayer of the rosary, is accompanied by the reading of Scripture passages.

Jerusalem Community

The community in Jerusalem congregated for decades in Isaiah House, a center that was administered by the Dominican Fathers, situated in the house of the Lazarist Fathers on Agron Street in Jerusalem...

Haifa community

In Haifa that sits on the mountains of Carmel, the place of Elijah the prophet, there is also a Hebrew-speaking Catholic community...

Beer Sheba community

The community in Beer Sheba is unique among the Hebrew-speaking Catholic communities. It is the only community that uniquely represents the Catholic Church in the city (and it constitutes the Roman Catholic parish there)...

Jaffa - Tel Aviv Community

The community in Tel Aviv-Jaffa is the oldest of the communities.  Father Bruno Hussar, a Dominican brother who was born in Egypt to a Jewish family of Hungarian origin and who immigrated to Israel at the begin of the 1950s, was the first to celebrate the mass in Hebrew in Jaffa in 1955...

Russian speaking communities

Priests are working with the Catholic believers in Jesus who are Russian-speaking and have immigrated to Israel in the past decades...

Youth Group

The youth group, "Desert Flower" is a two year old Catholic group. The names was chosen by the young people who sincerely desire to live like colorful flowers in the desert of our world...

Luckner Parents' Home

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...

Our Lady Woman of Valor Pastoral Center in Tel Aviv

What is the Center and what is its mission? Tel Aviv-Jaffa is Israel's largest city and the center of commercial, cultural and social life in the country. In 2009, the city Tel Aviv celebrated its 100th birthday...

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" – prayer group in the kehillot

Esther, a sister who lives in a hermitage in the Judean Hills, sent us an explanation of a prayer group that was founded nearly twenty years ago within the framework of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities and that prays for peace...

Communities -

The community in Tel Aviv-Jaffa is the oldest of the communities.

The community in Jerusalem congregated for decades in Isaiah House, a center that was administered by the Dominican Fathers, situated in the house of the Lazarist Fathers on Agron Street in Jerusalem. 

The Jerusalem community became the center of activity for the Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the country. Many priests, men and women religious and lay people contributed to the development of community life, its liturgy, music and theological thought. At the end of the 1990s, the community left Isaiah House and found temporary premises in the Franciscan’s Terra Santa College. In these years, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a Franciscan monk from Italy, was the priest of the community. He supervised the renovation of a house in the center of West Jerusalem which was inaugurated in the year 2000 as a new Franciscan monastery, dedicated to Saints Simeon and Anne.

From this time on, the Hebrew-speaking community has been assembling in this place, situated at 10 Rabbi Kook Street. Today, the priest in charge is Father Rafic. Every day the mass is celebrated there at 18.30. The members of the community in Jerusalem are Israelis and other residents from many different countries.

What is the importance of Simeon and Anne to our communities? Forty days after Jesus’ birth, his parents, pious and observant Jews, brought him to the Temple together with the obligatory sacrifice (Luke 2:22-40). There they were met by an old Jew who was faithfully waiting for many years to see the salvation of Israel. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. When they entered the Temple, Simeon identified Jesus and blessed God: “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel”. Also Anne, a prophetess, was waiting all her life and she thanked God for this great and saving day. Simeon and Anne represent for us the fidelity of Israel waiting for salvation throughout so many generations.

Interior of the chapel in the House of Saints Simeon and Anne, Jerusalem

Interior of the chapel in the House of Saints Simeon and Anne, Jerusalem

 

What is the Center and what is its mission?

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Tel Aviv-Jaffa is Israel's largest city and the center of commercial, cultural and social life in the country. In 2009, the city Tel Aviv celebrated its 100th birthday. Today, in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the Jewish modern city par excellence, there are tens of thousands of Catholics (alongside native Arabic and Hebrew speaking Israeli Catholics, there are tens of thousands of migrants, foreign workers and asylum seekers, predominantly from Asia and Africa). The two Catholic churches in Jaffa have valiantly served these migrant populations and continue to do so but they are not sufficient and the city of Tel Aviv itself has no established Catholic presence.

In 2009, a group of Filipinos began to rent a hall in south Tel Aviv and named the center they established Divine Mercy. By February 2014, the Center had had to relocate three times. For the last two years, the Divine Mercy was situated in an underground bomb shelter.

In March 2014, the Catholic Church began its activities in the Our Lady Woman of Valor Pastoral Center. The building was purchased and renovated thanks to the great generosity of many organizations that help the Church in the Holy Land, to name a few: the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, the German Association of the Holy Land, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Missio, Church in Need, Kindermissionswerk and the German Bishops’ Conference. In addition, many generous contributions were made by other associations and individuals including the Berrie Foundation and pilgrims to the Holy Land, especially pilgrims coming from Vietnam and the Vietnamese Diaspora. Finally, it should be stressed that the faithful of south Tel Aviv contributed themselves by collecting money regularly through a “Build our Own Church” fund. We are enormously grateful.

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Thanks to the hard work of a devoted team consisting of a developer, a lawyer and workmen, a ruined building in south Tel Aviv was transformed into a center with a church that can seat 250 people, a roof top chapel, two apartments for the Sisters from the Philippines (Saint Paul of Chartres) and Sri Lanka (Perpetual Help) who live in the center and a meeting room.

Today, in additional to daily mass, five Sunday masses are celebrated for the thousands of Catholic migrants in the neighborhood. Many other faith activities are held in the center for migrants from the Philippines, Indian, Sri Lanka and Geez rite Catholics (from Eritrea and Ethiopia).

Of particular concern are the hundreds of children from Catholic families that are integrated into the secular Israeli, Hebrew language government schools. Local government, Hebrew language schools in south Tel Aviv have hundreds of Christians pupils. The Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel, working together with the chaplains of the Pastoral among Migrants, organizes catechism classes, summer camps and the publication of Hebrew language text books in order to educate a generation born in Israel, that speaks only Hebrew and has almost no exposure to the Church. Today, in 2014, 150 Catholic children are registered in catechism classes given at Our Lady Woman of Valor.

The Center is administered by a team under the leadership of Rev. David Neuhaus SJ, Latin Patriarchal Vicar and responsible for the Pastoral among Migrants in Israel.

There is still much to do we and we ask the intercession of Our Lady Woman of Valor that we might be granted the ability and means to work more for the migrants in Israel.

The youth group, "Desert Flower" is a two year old Catholic group. The names was chosen by the young people who sincerely desire to live like colorful flowers in the desert of our world.

logo_youth

We gather together young people linked to our Hebrew speaking communities from all over the country and who are older than 13 years old.

We meet once a month in order to savor the beauty of the community experience, in order to learn and pray together. Each meeting provides us with the spiritual strength that enables us to go back to our day to day lives strengthened and renewed.

During the summer, we usually go on a trip whose aim is to broaden our Church horizons by means of an encounter with young people from other countries.

If you are a young Catholic person who speaks Hebrew we invite you to contact us and we will be happy to bring you into the group!

Group leaders

Father Apolinary
Father Piotr
Brother Alberto
Benny

Contact persons:

Father Apolinary see here
Father Piotr see here

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)

Priests are working with the Catholic believers in Jesus who are Russian-speaking and have immigrated to Israel in the past decades.

Father Wieslaw Dabrowski, a Salesian from Poland, is working hard to establish new communities. With time, the younger members of these communities will also speak Hebrew. Father Wieslaw travels throughout the country in order to establish contacts and meet people. He celebrates in Tiberias in the north (at St Peter's Church, on Sunday at 18.00, and in Latroun (the Trappist monastery, on Saturday at 16.00).There is also mass in Russian in Haifa (at the House of Grace on Saturday at 11.30).

Chagal's Abraham receiving the angels

In Haifa that sits on the mountains of Carmel, the place of Elijah the prophet, there is also a Hebrew-speaking Catholic community.

The community in Beer Sheba is unique among the Hebrew-speaking Catholic communities.