Project Spotlight: Helping Holocaust Survivors in Need

The Fellowship  |  November 4, 2020

former Soviet Union recipients
Yefim and Clara Novak, DRTV Ukraine infomercial production January 14-24, 2020, elderly woman sits next to elderly man at a table with meal kit in front of them, blue shirt, yarmulke, red shirt

Today, thousands of elderly Jews who miraculously escaped death during the Holocaust are living out their final years in poverty and isolation. Many Holocaust survivors are in need of support and live solely on meager pensions – having to make the impossible choice every day between buying food and other essentials like lifesaving medicines, shelter, and heat in the winter months.

Thanks to friends like you, The Fellowship has programs that meet the basic food, heating fuel, clothing, shelter, and medical needs of the elderly and aging Holocaust survivors around the world.

As the psalmist prayed, “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” (Psalm 71:9). The Fellowship takes these words of the Bible to heart in caring for frail Holocaust survivors who are in dire need.

Yefim’s Story

85-year-old Yefim lost his eyesight three years ago, so since then, his wife, Clara, helps him navigate their apartment in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Yefim survived World War II by evacuating to Russia with his family. His father was drafted into the army, but not the frontlines because he suffered from nearsightedness.

After the war, Yefim worked as a teacher for six years. Then he studied Journalism at Kiev University, and also worked in a factory. When Yefim and Clara married, they moved to Kiev. Yefim became involved with the reawakening Jewish community, and the couple participated actively in Jewish life. To be able to celebrate was very special to Yefim, who always felt connected to his Judaism even though practicing his religion was forbidden for many years. Today, Yefim attends synagogue services every day, escorted by his wife or a friend. He even knows many of the prayers by heart.

Despite all the years he worked, Yefim’s pension barely pays for food. Even with the much-appreciated help of the local Jewish community, it is clear that Yefim and Clara need more assistance in order to live in dignity. With your support, The Fellowship can send them regular cooked meals delivered by friendly volunteers. They appreciate this care so much!

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