Savyon Retirement Lodge was established in 1967 and served the Jewish Community well for many years before closing in November 2021 as the community shrunk.
Below are some records of the retirees who lived at Savyon.
Below are some earlier reports and images from better days.
November 2013 – Photographs taken during a visit to Savyon Lodge by Vivienne Silver-Brody who was visiting from Israel. She had not been back to Bulawayo for 40 years and wanted to show her husband Roy where she was born. The Thursday Savyon tea is sponsored by the visitors and attended by the residents and visitors. With thanks to Valda Cohen (Baron) for her help in identifying the people in the photographs.
By Theresa Bengis
Savyon Lodge, which was established in 1967, is the only Old Age home for Jewish residents in Zimbabwe.
There are 33 residents in the Lodge. The average age is 88 years old, the oldest being Leizer Abrahamson who turned 105 in April this year. He is a wonderful man who still has all his faculties and still “davens” at the service every day.They have a shul service every morning and evening, with a Minyan, at Savyon so that the residents can join with the community in prayer.
Savyon is a wonderful place, a real refuge for all the residents from all that is going on in Zimbabwe at the moment. It is a haven for those people who have given so much to their communities and now need a place where they can be cared for in their old age. Savyon treats every person with the love and dignity they deserve and all their everyday needs are well taken care of. The staff are constantly making sure, under these trying times, that everyone is more than comfortable in their special home.
The shrinking community supports Savyon very well. The ladies are always on hand to give lifts to anyone who needs to go anywhere. There is always a friendly face popping in to visit the residents. People from the community can always be relied on to share in any special occasion. For example, there is a communal Seder held at Savyon each Pesach. The residents so enjoy hosting visitors to the Lodge so that they can enjoy a ‘Yom Tov” with guests as they did when they had their own homes.
The Mission Statement of Savyon declares that “We ensure that our dear residents age with dignity” and they try to make sure that as far as possible, under these difficult conditions, they will not allow their very high standards to drop.
They are a non-profit making organisation with a staff of 20 workers, two matrons and an administrator. Savyon Lodge is administered by a dedicated committee of some members of the community. They are a strictly Kosher home. At the moment it is costing in excess of Zim$25 million a month to run the home. Many of the residents are unable to pay the ever increasing fees as they are on fixed incomes. These residents are subsidised by Savyon. Unfortunately the local Jewish community has decreased drastically recently and these people cannot continue to keep their pledges to donate money that went a long way to help support Savyon. As you no doubt know the economic situation in Zimbabwe has reached critical proportions. This is affecting the running of Savyon Lodge drastically and we rely heavily on donations made by local and overseas communities.
Savyon Lodge would like to bring their situation to the attention of the many people who have fond memories of the people and special places in Zimbabwe. Their one great expense at the moment is that of renovating the roof of the lodge. The lowest quote they have had is for Zim$95 million !!
With very best wishes and thanks to all for any interest in Savyon Lodge.