Faces of The Fellowship: Marina | IFCJ
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Faces of The Fellowship: Marina


Marina believed her husband, Anton, was out of control. While Marina cared for their two young children, Anton would stay out late drinking. Then he’d come home intoxicated and angry.

Prior to having kids, the couple always had a busy social life filled with exciting nights out. Marina worked as an acting director, so the couple always had lots of theater friends around them. When their first child, Martin, was born, Marina spent nights with the baby and watched as her husband started abusing alcohol. When their second child, Agla, was born, Anton wasn’t the same husband he used to be.

Something about settling down and having a family triggered such negativity within him that he started verbally and physically abusing his wife in front of their young children. Marina loved her husband, but she felt she needed to protect her children, so she filed for divorce.

She left town with her children, moving from Uzbekistan to Russia with the hopes of beginning a new life. She had family there who helped her while she looked for work and living arrangements.

Work was hard to come by, as was child care, but she persevered, finding small jobs at various theaters and teaching children’s acting classes. She scrounged together enough money to purchase a small one-bedroom apartment, but was left with debt and no money to furnish the place.

Today, Martin is 12 and Agla is 9. They now need food and clothing. Marina hates to see them walking around wearing last year’s hand-me-downs, which barely fit them and are worn thin. She cries over the lack of nourishing food in her home, praying daily that she will have a hot meal to feed her children when they return from school.

The first time that a food package arrived from The Fellowship, Marina and her children were in awe. To have a month’s supply of nourishing and delicious food was a dream come true.

When they received vouchers for warm, new clothing, they all danced with joy. “Thank you Rabbi Eckstein and The Fellowship for not only feeding and clothing my family, but for helping us feel comforted until we can take better care of ourselves,” says Marina.

Thanks to our wonderful donors, The Fellowship continues to help Jewish families in need across the former Soviet Union by providing food and clothing. And for Marina and her family, this care makes all the difference.

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