Faces of The Fellowship: Shoma

The Fellowship  |  June 26, 2019

Shoma Sherman looking sadly into the camera with a red and yellow pattern behind him.

102-year-old Shoma is blind, nearly deaf, and can barely walk on his own. Despite these major health challenges, Shoma is fiercely independent. He doesn’t let his heart disease, dementia, or loneliness (his beloved wife Melly died in 1996) squash his strong spirit.

That spirit has helped Shoma through many difficult times. A young man during World War II, Shoma was first evacuated to Russia, and then to Kazakhstan, where he was recruited to carry heavy logs and bricks for the building of bridges. Work and living conditions were very poor, and Shoma was often cold and hungry.

After the war, Shoma moved to Moldova, where he studied accounting and economics. For years, Shoma served as the head of human resources at a consumer goods factory. He never imagined he’d be in this situation today, living off a pension that is too small to cover the costs of his basic needs.

Shoma does not know how he would survive without support from The Fellowship and our volunteers, who deliver food, medications, clothing, and bring him companionship. He also gets visits from a Fellowship homecare worker, helping him manage his illnesses.

This care is made possible thanks to our donors who make sure elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union are cared for and loved.