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Faces of The Fellowship: Mina

Faces of The Fellowship: Mina (photo: Chamah/Ilya Dolgopolsky)

Mina was 30 years old when she met her husband, Benny. She was teaching high school chemistry classes in Siberia at the time and Benny was the brother of one of her college friends. Benny was training to become a pilot, and, most importantly, he was Jewish, just like Mina.

Before they married, Benny often was assigned to fly planes to areas all around the world, so he wasn’t always free to spend time with Mina. They would write letters to one another to keep their relationship going, and a few years later, they married.

Shortly after their wedding, Benny was transferred to a city in Russia. Mina found a teaching job in a city school. They lived there for six months. But then something happened that changed Mina’s life forever.

While Benny’s parents were in town to celebrate his father’s 60th birthday with Benny and Mina, they all decided to meet at a favorite restaurant. Benny was supposed to meet them at the restaurant after returning home from a flight. But while the family waited for him to arrive, they received news that his plane had crashed and the entire crew was killed.

After the initial shock, Mina returned to Siberia to live with her parents. She never remarried, and had no children. Today, her parents have passed away and she is left all alone with no family. Her health has started to deteriorate.

Thankfully, some of Mina’s former students check in on her occasionally. They suggested that Mina contact the Fellowship-supported Chamah organization, a Jewish charity that helps the elderly. Now, friendly and caring volunteers help care for Mina in her old age. While their visits can never replace the company of her husband or parents, she feels so blessed to have friendly faces visit her weekly. She feels less lonely and knows she will always have the care she needs.

Learn how you can help elderly in need like Mina receive lifesaving care.

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