Faces of The Fellowship: Dora

The Fellowship  |  January 30, 2020

Two women sitting next to each other unwrapping an IFCJ given blanket.

At 88 years old, Dora still feels like the orphan who survived the Holocaust. “It’s a miracle that I’m alive,” she said. Today, she still grieves for her entire family, lost after they were rounded up by the Nazis and murdered.

Since her tragic childhood in Ukraine, Dora managed to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) and have a family of her own in the Holy Land. Still, she carries painful memories of the Holocaust.

She tells us that just before the Nazis invaded her Ukrainian village, she and her aunt left to visit her grandmother who lived in a remote city. “The day I went to visit my grandmother was actually the last day I saw my family.” This included her parents, baby sister, and uncles. “The Nazis just murdered everyone and I remained an orphan all my life.”

Today, Dora’s grief is still close to her heart, and was made worse after the loss of her husband.

She especially struggles to get by in the winter months. “Like many elderly, I subsist on an old age pension,” she explained. “My children try to help, but I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.”

A Lifeline of Winter Assistance

During the winter, Dora is afraid to turn on her heat. She worries that if she leaves the radiator on too long, she won’t be able to afford the high electricity bill that will eventually come. So she wears many layers of clothing to tolerate her frigid apartment.

The truth is for elderly and Holocaust survivors like Dora, the winter months in Israel mean higher utility bills and the terrible position of choosing between heating their homes or buying food and medicine. They cannot afford both. But these freezing temperatures with little heat in their homes put elderly at risk for illness.

This is why Dora was so overwhelmed when Fellowship representatives visited her this winter to bring her a warm blanket and a check to cover her electricity bill. Her whole face lit up when she realized she wouldn’t have to worry about being cold this winter. “Thank you for this assistance. It helps so much!” she added.

Without our wonderful Fellowship friends around the world, elderly Holocaust survivors like Dora would be left alone with no support during the winter months. But thanks to The Fellowship, powered by our supporters, thousands of elderly will be delivered winter assistance this year!

Learn how you can help more Jewish people in need today.