Holocaust Memorial Day - Targu Mures

Ethne was greatly distressed when she realised that the majority of the community were unable to afford glasses, dentures and medicines. (Sadly, a typical income was only about $30 per month.) Romanian life is hard. Even staple foodstuffs are a luxury and prohibitively expensive for many. Romanian citizens do not qualify for an old-age pension automatically, nor do they have the safety net of a social security and national health system. targu mures news On Ethne's return to Glasgow, she catalysed others to form a group that would try to help the Jewish community of Targu Mures. The Targu Mures Trust was soon established. Its aims were to meet the medical, dental, optical and mobility needs of those elderly Jewish people living in and around Targu Mures and to provide a comprehensive home care service for those who needed it. The Trust was awarded charitable status in record-breaking time in February 2000. From the outset it was decided that trustees would cover absolutely all of their administrative and travel expenses, so that the total of the money that was raised could be used for the direct benefit of the Targu Mures Jewish Community. Trustees visited Targu Mures five times in the first year of the Trust. The instability of the Romanian currency has made regular funding and review trips a necessary feature of this project.
project  co-ordinator and two home care assistants

The Trust now employs a project co-ordinator and two home care assistants in Targu Mures on a part-time basis. The help that they offer ranges from routine tasks, such as laundry, cleaning and shopping, to sorting out housing difficulties and supporting at times of medical emergency. The community's most urgent need and constant anxiety has been the provision of medicines. Continence and mobility aids have also been supplied. Arrangements were made with a local optician to carry out eye examinations and to supply spectacles as necessary. A similar dental programme was established and a widespread need for hearing aids was identified and addressed. The leaders of the community in Targu Mures had been using a typewriter for administrative purposes. This machine dated back to the 1920s. To their delight, we replaced this with a computer with Internet and e-mail access.

Rabbi  Weiss

Glaswegians now participate fully in the life of the Targu Mures community. We have been able to fulfil a promise to bring a rabbi to Targu Mures. Rabbi Weiss is able to communicate directly with the community in Yiddish. He consecrates graves and officiates at the annual Holocaust memorial services. His visits are a profoundly moving experience for all. The trustees and other volunteers from Glasgow have come to know the community and its leaders well. Bernath Sauber, a retired lawyer, leads the community, supported by Alexandru Ausch, Dr Paul Horvath and Ladislau Grun. At 75, Mr Grun is the youngest of the survivors who returned to Targu Mures from Auschwitz after the war. These elders of the community maintain enormously detailed records of what has been spent and what assistance has been offered. They see this as a matter of honour and take great pride in their meticulous accounting. We have great respect for them all and very deep affection. We feel privileged that they have trusted us and grateful that they have allowed us to help them.



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