Raya was 13 when she fled the former Soviet Union for Israel with her mother and younger brother. In Israel Raya experienced freedom for the first time. "I was able to walk the streets on Sabbath wishing everyone ‘Shabbat shalom' without having to worry about my safety," she recalls.
But life wasn't all easy. Her family struggled with abject poverty and with learning a new language and culture. Raya's mother insisted she get a job to help support the family, and then pressured her into marriage when she was just 17. Tragically, Raya found herself at the mercy of an abusive husband and an even crueler mother-in-law.
After six years of a painful marriage, Raya moved back in with her mom and started putting her life back together. She completed her high-school degree, earned a certificate in computer skills, and landed a good job in a manufacturing plant.
But tragedy struck again. Raya fought a long war against breast cancer, and by the grace of God she survived. Nonetheless, the illness left her life in shambles. She has been in and out of work, and has had to rely on meager disability checks that do not cover the rent, utilities, and food costs for her and her two daughters.
Last winter Raya feared her electricity would be shut off because she hadn't been able to pay the bill for months. "We can't survive a winter without electricity," she says. But The Fellowship learned of her plight and through our Kupat Yedidut emergency fund helped her cover her back payments.
When you become a monthly supporter of The Fellowship, you enable us to provide emergency funds to people in need, like Raya.
"This helping hand from The Fellowship made all the difference," Raya explains. "My daughters and I feel blessed for the assistance we received from you. May God in turn bless you!"