In March, the OSE Café des Psaumes, a social café for senior citizens and Holocaust survivors at the heart of the Jewish Parisian neighborhood welcomed a delegation from the Claims Conference.
Jean François Guthmann, president of the OSE and Patricia Sitruk, general manager, as well as all the team of the Café des Psaumes welcomed the Claims Conference Board members and presented the various services of OSE accompanying the survivors of the Shoah.
The members of the Claims Conference were able to discover the Café in a lively and warm atmosphere. After a quick meal, Holocaust survivors who regularly attend the Psalm Café shared their stories in an impressive number of languages and of course especially in Yiddish.
The Claims Conference gives a grant to the Café des Psaumes under the “Cafe Europa” program.
Here is the Claims Conference President’s report about it:
This was one of the stories the Claims Conference Leadership Council had the opportunity to hear during the meeting last week in Paris, France. Over two days, members of the Council visited memorials, historical sites, and were exposed to never-before-seen historical documents.
But by far, the most impactful moments to take place during the trip were the engagements we had with survivors. Council members met individual survivors in their homes – like my visit with Claire – and we all attended the very popular Café Europa in Paris, Café des Psaumes.
Café des Psaumes, unlike many of our other Café Europa programs, is an actual café supported in part by funding from one of our partner agencies in France, OSE (Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants), to which the Claims Conference is a contributor.
Survivors drop into the café Monday through Thursday to connect with each other, hear the latest news and find out about local events throughout the Jewish community in France. Because it is an actual coffee shop, anyone is welcome, not just survivors or even Jews for that matter, making it the perfect opportunity for engagement for the Leadership Council.
Holocaust survivors from around the city meet at Café des Psaumes in Rue des Rosiers, the Jewish Quarter in Paris, to check in with each other, share news and find out about recent or upcoming events in the Jewish community. The café is open Monday through Thursday to everyone, providing a great opportunity for engagement and connection.
“To me, one of the most important parts was meeting survivors at the Cafe,” commented Chen Yurista, Claims Conference Chief Experience Officer. “The atmosphere was that of any other bustling coffee shop – but full of survivors. Everyone shared a unique journey through the Shoah, some shared a story of deportation, some shared their experiences in Algeria during the war, some of being hidden as a child. Everyone was spirited and was happy to discuss, not just the Holocaust, but their life in France and what they had accomplished since the war. It was truly uplifting.”