Photo Credit: Daniel Case / Wikipedia
Central Catskill mountains on August 28, 2006.

Forty Holocaust survivors and their spouses in New York City were gifted with a vacation in the Catskills, courtesy of The Blue Card, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting Holocaust survivors in need.

The survivors, most of whom live under the poverty line in Brooklyn, and who are beneficiaries of The Blue Card and Nachas Health Net in Brooklyn, traveled up north from July 10 to 15 to the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa.


For most, it was their first vacation in years. The Adolph and Lotte Rosenberg Summer Retreat Program is a unique experience that survivor beneficiaries look forward to all year long — and this was the first year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that such an event was possible.

“Each day, participants interacted with each other, baked challah, went swimming, exercised, performed aerobics, and participated in arts and crafts projects,” the organization said.

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the smiles on the faces of so many survivors who have been through so much in life,” said Milana Hazan, associate executive director of The Blue Card.

“The Adolph and Lotte Rosenberg Summer Retreat Program is a unique experience that our beneficiaries look forward to all year long. It’s an honor to organize this retreat for individuals who truly benefit from it.”

Thousands of Holocaust survivors in New York City are struggling to meet their basic human needs. The Blue Card provides direct financial assistance to those who have already survived the unthinkable, with utmost respect and mindful of their dignity.

The youngest survivor at the retreat was 77 years old, with multiple survivors well into their 90’s and thriving.

“While visiting the survivors, we celebrated the 96th birthday of a spry and witty Holocaust survivor named David, who mentioned he hasn’t had a birthday party in decades,” Hazan said.

Among the personalities who visited the survivors during their vacation was Charlotte Bickly, a fashion influencer and editor-at-large at The Daily Front Row; Rami Even-Esh (“Kosha Dillz”), and Or Mashiach, who appears on Season 18 of “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.