Turning the memory of the Holocaust into symbols of solidarity with homeless people
Do you know what Falafels symbolise? For our Community in London, they have become symbols of hope against all odds when friends at the Embassy of Israel decided to donate 70 falafel meals to our homeless friends to celebrate Dugo day.
Back in January 18th 1945, a man named David Leitner was forced to march through the snow by the Nazis at Auschwitz. The fourteen year old daydreamed about his mother's cooking to keep his spirits up during the difficult walk. He thankfully survived the Holocaust, and decided to go to Jerusalem. During his visit, he stopped by a market and bought a falafel: the dish brought back memories of his childhood, and he quickly ordered another portion. David (nicknamed Dugo) then decided to eat falafels every 18th January to celebrate being alive, and the power of memory and reminiscing.
Fast forward to 2022, and his tradition has now conquered the streets of London with the Israeli's Embassy donating 70 bags of falafel meals to Sant'Egidio, who have distributed the meals to our friends from the streets.
Preserving the memory of the tragic events of the Holocaust is an important commitment for the Community of Sant'Egidio. Hence, we have been very happy to receive the generous donation from the Embassy of Israel in UK. For Sant'Egidio in London, falafels will always mean hope against despair, generous help over troublesome difficulties, a hot meal given with smiles that warm the heart against the cold-shoulder attitude of looking the other way, ignoring the most vulnerable.