Shmulek and Sophie moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in the 1990s. Before their move, Shmulek worked as an engineer and Sophie was a high-school teacher. Their daughter had immigrated to Israel in the 1980s, and the elderly couple was anxious to join her in the Holy Land.
Their arrival to Israel was a fulfillment of all their dreams. They were home, they were free from anti-Semitism, and they were reunited with their daughter. Shmulek looked for work in his field of engineering, but due to his age and his inability to speak the language, he was forced to work odd, low-paying jobs. Sophie experienced similar hardships, and since she could not find a position in her field, she took whatever work she could find in order to survive.
Then Shmulek was diagnosed with cancer. Since the illness has taken hold of his body, he has not been able to work or perform basic household tasks. Sophie still works when she can, but her paychecks hardly cover the couple’s needs. With Shmulek’s ever-increasing list of medications, the couple has had to cut back on food, water usage, electricity, and during these cold winter months, they simply could not afford heat.
The Fellowship helped pay for Shmulek’s and Sophie’s heating this winter. For Shmulek, not having heat in the winter was not merely a painful inconvenience, it would have cost him his life. His chemotherapy treatments leave him ill and in bed all day and night, and all the blankets in the world could not suffice to keep him warm and to put a stop to his shivering.
The Fellowship has saved Shmulek’s life this winter through our Operation Winter Warmth program, and for that, Smulek and Sophie are eternally grateful.