Though she's 96, Bertha still remembers her world turning completely upside down on August 30, 1941. That's the day the Nazis marched into her hometown in Belarus and rounded up every Jew in town. While their neighbors simply watched, the Jews were marched deep into the forest.
When they saw the large pit that would serve as one mass grave, some people began to run – including Bertha. While her entire family – her mother, father, two sisters, and one brother – were gunned down, Bertha miraculously escaped. But, she remembers, "I was all alone."
Bertha survived the rest of the war by changing her name, hiding her Jewish identity, and relying on the kindness of strangers. After the war, Bertha went to college, became a math teacher, and married a good man. Since they never felt at home in Belarus after the horrors of World War II, they moved to their spiritual homeland, Israel, when Bertha was 70. "I'm so happy that I'm here!" she still declares.
Today, Bertha finds herself alone once again. Her husband died over a decade ago, and she has no children or family. She lives in Sderot, a town prone to frequent rocket attacks from Hamas terrorists in nearby Gaza. In addition, Bertha has to contend with the poverty that plagues so much of Israel's elderly population, particularly those who immigrated late in life and have no type of pension.
Thankfully, Bertha is neither forgotten nor forsaken. With God's help, and the assistance of The Fellowship, Bertha will be well taken care of for as long as she lives. "Thank you to The Fellowship for strengthening me and for helping me to live my life," she says.
When you support The Fellowship, you offer a lifeline like the one Bertha received wherever it is most needed. And you help these who have already suffered far too much to know they do not face their struggles alone.