Inge Buhs, 47, receives me with a warm smile in her Jerusalem flat. Her eyes – like the balmy morning sun – shine as she asks me to sit down in a soft chair and offers me coffee. Already I feel at home in her presence and can sense the empathy she has for others – even for me, a complete stranger.

But Buhs’s dedicated love is reserved for those who have supplied her with the many plants surrounding me and the pictures on the walls – all tokens of appreciation and love from the people she is so eager to help: the Holocaust survivors.

In 2000 she started Ner Yaakov (Yaakov’s Candle), an organization that offers practical help and a safe home for survivors living in Israel. Today four are living in the organization’s house in Pisgat Ze’ev, and another 17 who live alone receive help on a regular basis.

“I’m embarrassed to talk about my work, it’s so small,” Buhs says again and again, even though she has helped many, many survivors since her first visit to Israel in 1983. But despite her modesty, she agrees to tell me about what has become her life’s work.

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