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Our Past

The Etania story began in 1848,

when Davos’s healing powers were discovered by a German physician Alexander Spengler, who observed that no village resident was suffering from the deathly tuberculosis plaguing over 10,000 others across Europe.

Attributing the health effects to the special high-mountain climate, Davos soon became internationally acclaimed for its recuperation spas and healing powers, and in 1916, The Etania Association was established by the Association for Jewish Lung Diseases to provide a respite centre for those in need.

The initial property was owned by A Hirsch (1897). He secured the finances of this project with a committee who undertook the financial obligation of developing the resort with all the aspects needed to cater to the Orthodox Jew, including Kashrus supervision, Mikvah and a Synagogue.

The Board raised funds for the extensive ongoing costs and offered noble individuals the opportunity to establish endowments and legacies to the fund. The property reached its climax of patients following the Holocaust, providing vital rehabilitation for Holocaust survivors. Child survivors from the notorious Buchenwald found refuge and comfort in the Etania facilities, amongst many of the victims. The property continued servicing the sick until 1980.

Changes in management in 1980 meant that until 2000 it was used partly for the sick and partly as a hotel. The proceeds went to the maintenance and the continuity of its service to the Jewish Community.

From the year 2000, the improper legislative procedures meant that the building was not being used for its initial function. The building was derelict and needed constant maintenance and repairs. It was rented to a Hotel Group for their staff and the proceeds prevented the building from falling into complete disrepair.

Finally, in 2015, The Etania Association approved Messrs Jakob Halpern and Efraim Holles to undertake the refurbishment works as a humanitarian venture to enable the Etania facilities to be used for the Jewish Community and make available the Verein für Kranke und Erholungsbedürftige.

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Every year, visitors from around the world benefit from the healing air, as well as from the health resorts and facilities.

The Etania House, currently managed by the Verein für Kranke (VKE), is a self-catering kosher Hostel, providing families in need access to the healing air and facilities, at a nominal cost via your donation.

Current research has proved that the healing power of the Davos climate is a direct result of the protected high mountain location at 1,560 m above sea level.

We have provided 15,000 respite nights, proving the need for a centre of rehabilitation.

The Hostel provides kosher facilities as well as kosher kitchens in each apartment.

In 2015, the Etania Association approved Messrs Halpern and Holles to undertake refurbishment works to allow families the use of the historic Etania house. They considered an effective method, so that Chaim V’Shalvah could benefit people who are not financially able to afford a stay in the mountains.

Those benefiting include children and families with various physical and emotional conditions, including atopic dermatitis; mononucleosis, asthma and lyme disease.

Read more about the health benefits of Davos

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It’s all about looking forward.

One might think that with over 15,000 respite nights provided by VKE at the legendary Etania House, we can rest assured that we’ve done our best. But that’s not how we at Chaim V’Shalvah work.

You see, it’s not about the big eye-catching numbers or impressive statistics. It’s about each one, every child, parent or family, an entire world, who now has a brighter future to look forward to. We have some ideas. And with your help, we can change the future. One healing breath at a time.

To enable the premises to be used for 8 months to support camps, individuals, children and families, skiers can rent accommodations at the Etania House (Zentrum Haus) for four months during peak skiing season. This generates an annual income of approximately CHF 250,000.

However, the operations of Chaim V’Shalvah to use the Etania facilities presently cost in the region of CHF 430,000, which presents a deficit of approximately CHF 180,000, leaving no funds for any further refurbishment or to replace capital expenditure.

That’s why we need your help, to continue allowing our guests to benefit from the healing powers of Davos.

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