Eshel’s Café Europa and Café Britannia social clubs for survivors offer an environment for survivors to engage with peers who share a common background, to participate together in social and cultural activities, and meaningfully interact with one another.
Operating between one and four times per week, depending on the local operating agency, survivors can look forward to getting together with peers in a cafe type environment. The survivors are able to enjoy art and memoir writing workshops, cognitive games, guest lecturers, discussions, physical exercises, music, song and dance, laughter yoga, interactive games, and computer lessons. The range of activities is flexible and adaptable according to the requests of the participants. The clubs often host local youth who participate or volunteer at the clubs, thus creating an intergenerational community.
The program staff apply active therapeutic techniques to help survivors address their feelings and communicate their stories to one another and to the community. The program also reaches out to the survivors' families, inviting them to take a role in the healing process.
To date, Eshel has established 120 Café Europa/Britannia social clubs for survivors. As of 2018, 9,000 vulnerable survivors are benefitting from Café Europa clubs on a weekly basis.
- Participates in activities specific to needs
- Increase in sense of belonging to a community of peers
- Feels secure due to presence of support network
- Engagement of youth and the community in holocaust education and commemoration
- Rehabilitation of the self-esteem of Holocaust survivors
While Eshel continues to provide professional and implementation oversight of the Café Europa/Britainia model, the operational and financial responsibility of the individual Cafés is primarily the responsibility of the local municipalities and welfare agencies.
Local authorities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services