Project Spotlight: Helping the Young and Old through Isaiah 58

The Fellowship  |  December 3, 2019

Alexander Orlovsky, an IFCJ recipient receiving a goody bag.

By partnering with various organizations on the ground in the former Soviet Union, The Fellowship is able to help tens of thousands of needy Jews, including children, impoverished families, the disabled, and the elderly who are desperately trying to make ends meet on little to no income. In order to survive, they receive assistance such as food and medicine as well as homecare visits and therapy, made possible by The Fellowship’s friends and supporters.

Helping Elderly Alexander

“I have a strong spirit,” Alexander says as he pushes himself to sit up on his bed by grabbing a makeshift lifting system made of plastic rings. He doesn’t stop there. He uses a walker to take a walk around his tiny apartment in Russia.

Four years ago, Alexander fell while riding the bus. He tells Fellowship representatives that he suffered a broken hip, but was refused surgery or any treatment. But Alexander wouldn’t let any of this confine him to bed. “I pushed myself to get up and pretty soon began walking,” he says. After forcing himself to heal, Alexander now moves using a walker, and even manages to go out. But while he is somewhat mobile, Alexander still relies on The Fellowship for survival.

When we found him, Alexander had been living alone in an untidy, neglected, two-room apartment with no finished flooring. The Fellowship helped purchase him a washing machine, fix the electricity in his home, and repair the flooring.

Today, Alexander struggles the most with loneliness. “My only true joy in life is talking to the kids of my nephew. But this happens so rarely!” He never had a family of his own. After surviving the war as a child, he worked in a factory all his life and never married. He lived with his parents who passed away 28 years ago and still mourns for his mother.

Today, his pension is only $250 a month. Without the added support of a homecare worker, provided by The Fellowship, he wouldn’t have any help caring for himself. The homecare worker helps Alexander clean and cook, but more than that, provides him with friendship. At last, Alexander doesn’t feel so alone, and is thankful to Fellowship friends around the world who make this care possible!