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WOMEN HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS SHOW ‘ZEST FOR LIFE’ AT UNUSUAL ISRAELI FASHION SHOW

JERUSALEM, Nov. 30, 2017 – An unusual fashion show featuring elderly Holocaust survivors took place in the Negev Desert city of Arad Tuesday night, thanks to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and local organizations.

Seven women survivors, four originally from the former Soviet Union, participated in the fashion show, which was held in cooperation with the Association for the Elderly in Arad and the Department of Welfare of the Municipality of Arad at the “Sounds of the Desert” senior citizens club. The women, all of whom receive support from The Fellowship including food, medicine, and home heating fuel, showed original designs by Irene Boutique Fashion. The Fellowship is currently funding projects in Israel that are helping 19,000 Holocaust survivors.

Elizabeth Rodich is one of the four survivors who modeled at the event.  Born in 1937 in Ukraine, she was barely a toddler when World War II broke out and her parents and three brothers fled with her to Oryol in present-day Russia. Her eldest brother was conscripted into the Red Army and returned after the war severely crippled, his leg amputated.

“My mother was also a seamstress. During the war years, we had nothing. My mother would sew us clothing from frayed scraps of fabric. I remember receiving my first real dress when I was 15. It was so beautiful and perfect that I didn’t dare to wear it! I’ve worn my own clothes all my life, dresses that I designed on my own, hats, and even shoes. I’m really excited about this show.”

Rodich added: “When I wear special clothes, I feel like I’m doing it for the first time. I have a dream that I still hope to realize -- to create a special exhibition that will include all my designs – the dresses, shoes, hats and handbags that I’ve sewn throughout my life.”

The Fellowship’s local coordinator, Nadine Gino, said the show was important so “that our elderly women feel young, fresh and vibrant.” The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, said it was “heartwarming” to see the women “enjoying rich, full years of life.”

“These women and other survivors and elderly who rely on our support endured unimaginable suffering during the Holocaust. Through an event like this, these survivors teach us about real beauty, pride, and a zest for life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this, and to help tens of thousands of elderly and Holocaust survivors in Israel,” Eckstein said.

For further details, contact: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR, New York: (212) 558-9400; [email protected]

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