Faces of The Fellowship: Svetlana | IFCJ
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Faces of The Fellowship: Svetlana

FOTF Svetlana (Photo: Chamah)

Svetlana was just a young girl when World War II erupted. Born in Moscow, she witnessed her father relocate to Latvia for his work as a military journalist. He was then sent to Orenburg and the family never heard from him again.

Svetlana’s troubles didn’t end with the loss of her father. She was born prematurely and was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy affecting her legs. She had to learn how to cope with the limitations of this condition.

As she grew older, Svetlana studied law at a university and worked for more than twenty years as a lawyer in the contracting unit of an engineering company. However, she always enjoyed writing in her free time, writing both poetry and short stories, following in the footsteps of her father.

Today, old age and loneliness have caught up with 79-year-old Svetlana. In addition to her cerebral palsy, she lost sight in one eye. She also suffers from ulcers. But she is allergic to many medications, which makes it difficult to treat these conditions.

Thankfully, Fellowship-supported Chamah, an organization providing food and homecare to elderly Jews in Russia, is there to help Svetlana. They come to her house with freshly cooked meals, bathe her, and tidy up her apartment. They also take her to all of her medical appointments and give her medications.

But most of all she enjoys their warm companionship, and she manages to read her poetry and short stories to the volunteers who visit her – often over a cup of hot tea and small cakes to the delight of both. She feels blessed by Fellowship friends who make this care and friendship possible.

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