Faces of The Fellowship: Zola

The Fellowship  |  July 25, 2019

Zolya Kinzburg looking directly at the camera.

Zola was a child when his hometown of Nikolaev, Ukraine, was surrendered to the Germans. He held his mother’s hand as they fled to a bomb shelter. She pulled him along, with explosions all around and soldiers wearing gas masks walking through the streets. Zola was scared.

They managed to board a train. But when it left, the train was bombed. Eventually the two reached Sverdlovsk. The war years were difficult on Zola. Like many children, he became terribly ill with malaria. He remembers being delirious with fever. After the war, the family moved back home, and his mother gave birth to his younger sister. His father and mother went back to work, but often the family went hungry.

Zola grew up and entered the Omsk Agricultural Institute, where he worked as a zootechnician. He continued his studies in agriculture and wrote a thesis on animal feeding. He met his wife, they married, and she gave birth to a daughter.

Today, Zola’s old age has caught up with him — he is ill and needy. He suffers from spinal problems, a weak heart, and other age-related issues. Thankfully, employees of Fellowship-supported Chamah bring him nutritious meals, go grocery shopping for him, and clean his apartment. They take him to his medical appointments and also bring him to the Chamah Center where he enjoys cultural activities.

Zola has a vast knowledge of Jewish subjects and history. He organized several large folders filled with clippings from articles about famous Jewish artists, military officers, scholars, and more, which he loves to share with his caretakers. He credits his homecare workers with being the only people who are truly there for him on a regular basis. This is the type of care made possible each day thanks to Fellowship friends around the world.

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