Project Spotlight: With Dignity and Fellowship
Yael Eckstein | July 21, 2022
One of the ways we help elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel is through our With Dignity and Fellowship program. And while the program provides lifesaving food and medicine, elderly beneficiaries also receive the love and attention of the entire Fellowship family!
For example, Svetlana — an elderly Holocaust survivor in our With Dignity and Fellowship program — mentioned to a Fellowship volunteer that she hadn’t seen her sister Ludmila in six years. Yet these two women both live in Israel. The reason they hadn’t visited each other is because one lives in northern Israel and the other in southern Israel and they say old age has made it difficult to visit each other: “I’m old and can barely walk,” explains Svetlana. “Traveling such a long distance by public transportation is difficult at my age, and I do not have the money to pay a taxi driver. If not for the help from The Fellowship, I could not afford to buy food and medicine for myself,” says Svetlana.
So for Ludmila’s 89th birthday, our volunteers at With Dignity and Fellowship arranged a birthday visit for the two sisters! Both sisters are Holocaust survivors, who were forced to keep their Jewish identity a secret throughout World War II and then during Soviet rule. After 1991, they were able to make aliyah, but old age has prevented them from spending time together.
As Svetlana says, “You cannot even imagine how much I missed you, and how happy I am to sit next to you. This is a real miracle made possible with the help of the wonderful people from The Fellowship.”
There are about 16,000 needy elderly in our With Dignity and Fellowship program in Israel. The program also provides companionship and social activities for the elderly to engage with fellow members in their local community.