Faces of The Fellowship: Sunya

The Fellowship  |  August 22, 2019

Sunya Zbrijer, IFCJ recipient looking off into the distance while talking.

For 88-year-old Sunya, the hardest part of aging is the loneliness. For years, Sunya was a popular science teacher, constantly surrounded by colleagues and students. But when his wife passed away two years ago, the loneliness took hold.

Living on his own is hard, but Sunya is used to hardships. As a young child, he had to flee his home in Rybnitsa, Moldova, in the former Soviet Union (FSU), in order to escape the advancing Nazi army. Sunya and his mother spent the war years in Tajikistan, returning to Moldova in 1944.

Today, Sunya copes with his loneliness by writing poems and songs that he shares with his friends at the local Fellowship-supported Hesed Day Center — centers across the FSU that support Jewish communities — and with his Fellowship homecare worker. Sunya’s homecare worker helps him with cleaning and cooking. Most importantly, she offers some respite from his loneliness.

The Fellowship also helps Sunya confront his most basic challenge — dire poverty. Thanks to The Fellowship, Sunya receives money for food and toiletries, as well as subsidized medicine and free medical consultations, which are increasingly important as he ages. This is the kind of care our donors make possible every day for elderly in the FSU.

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