When Natalia, 78 years old, made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel with her husband from her native Ukraine several years ago, it was a realization of a long-held dream. The couple has endured much during their lives, surviving the Nazi attempt to destroy the Jewish people during the Holocaust, as well as numerous physical and emotional traumas during World War II. To finally be in Israel, their biblical homeland, seemed almost too good to be true.
When they arrived, the couple settled in Jerusalem. But Natalia's husband suffered from weak health. Despite his wife's devoted care, he died just a year after their arrival in Israel.
Now, Natalia was all alone. Though still grateful to be in Israel, she had not fully mastered Hebrew, and was unfamiliar with Israeli culture. She had no way to support herself, other than her meager old age pension supplied by the Israeli government. With her funds extremely limited, she feared that she would go hungry or end up living on the streets.
In desperation, Natalia did something she never thought she would do - she went to a local soup kitchen, sponsored by The Fellowship's Guardians of Israel program, to eat. Though she was deeply hesitant at first, when she arrived she was surprised at what she found. Here, the atmosphere was closer to a respectable restaurant than a soup kitchen. Volunteers welcomed her in with a smile. Besides the nutritious meal, she also found companionship, as several women at an adjoining table invited her to join them to eat.
Now, Natalia never has to worry about going hungry - she visits the Fellowship soup kitchen every day. It has made a real difference in her life, just as it does for thousands of other Israelis who might otherwise have nowhere to turn. Today, won't you remember Israel's needy, including many Holocaust survivors like Natalia, through a generous gift to Guardians of Israel?