We at Zikaron BaSalon go to great lengths to recruit as many children and grandchildren of survivors and encourage them to learn and pass down their parents’ and grandparents’ stories. But it is not enough, there are too many survivors who don’t have anyone to retell and pass down their story to the next generations.
For this reason we created a new and unique program called “Sipur Chayim” (Life Story), with the purpose of recruiting an array of new people that can echo survivors’ testimonies during the Holocaust Rememberance Day.
Zikaron BaSalon (in Hebrew: Remembrance in the Living Room) is a social initiative taking place around Yom Hoshoah and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The initiative started ten years ago with the first Salon in Israel and became a grassroots organisation,with over 1.5 million people taking part in 55 countries around the globe.
The project “Sipur Chayim” creates a meaningful intergenerational connection between our volunteers and the survivors they’ve partnered with, and helps reduce the sense of loneliness that plagues many Holocaust Survivors. It also encourages young professionals to learn and educate themselves about the people they are visiting, and helps create a communal and social sense of responsibility amongst our volunteers.
The program works on two fronts: The first is the volunteering aspect of the program – a one on one weekly meeting between the volunteers and the Survivors in the homes of the Survivors. The second is the training aspect of the program which consists of 4 group meetings. In those, the volunteers will meet with our staff and professionals from different fields and acquire skills that will serve them in their jobs including storytelling skills, presentation skills, guidance on the characteristics of Holocaust Survivors and more. The program is accompanied by a unique notebook which serves as a guide and helps the volunteer learn about the Survivor’s story through guiding questions and instructions on how to compile a vast life into a single notebook.