Faces of The Fellowship: Shimon Finds Food and Friendship
The Fellowship | March 10, 2021
Shimon is an immigrant from Morocco who built a wonderful life for himself in the Holy Land. He was just 16 years old when he arrived in Israel. Alone and with only one suitcase to his name, Shimon started working on a kibbutz (a communal settlement in Israel, typically a farm). He went on to serve in the IDF. In fact, they called him right from the synagogue to the frontlines when the Six-Day War began.
After those early years in Israel full of change and struggle, Shimon went on to surround himself with a large family — he has five daughters that live all over Israel — and many good, lifelong friends.
But as he gets older, he’s lost many of the people that once made his life so meaningful. Today, Shimon’s world has grown smaller and smaller.
Several years ago he was forced to move his wife of 54 years to a care facility. Her Alzheimer’s disease made it difficult for him to care for her alone. She was becoming a danger to herself. The most heart-breaking aspect of the disease is that it feels like he’s lost her and their conversations already: “She doesn’t recognize me anymore when I come to visit,” he says.
Shimon also misses his friends. Prior to the pandemic, he kept a strict daily routine of going to the synagogue in the morning and hanging out with his old buddies in the afternoon. But now with all the social distancing restrictions, Shimon spends his days alone.
If not for his social worker and Fellowship volunteers, Shimon wouldn’t have anyone to visit him. He’s grateful for Fellowship food deliveries, but even more thankful for the companionship that Fellowship volunteers bring him. This upcoming Passover, he knows he won’t be alone.