Project Spotlight: Yad LaKashish
The Fellowship | February 9, 2021
You might be wondering what’s happened to all the in-person Fellowship projects. Like our Fellowship-sponsored Yad LaKashish, a “lifeline for the elderly,” where elderly went each day to make beautiful crafts to sell and earn a small stipend, enabling them to meet their ongoing expenses. But now Israel is under another nationwide lockdown, and our partners at Yad LaKashish are closed.
Thankfully, the good work of The Fellowship continues. We continue to provide financial assistance ensuring that the elderly can purchase food and medications. The elderly are grateful for the continued assistance and are eagerly awaiting for Yad LaKashish to reopen so they can return to their daily activities.
Elena was born in Kiev in 1939. At the outbreak of WWII, she escaped with her mother and younger to Tatarstan, while her father remained behind in Kiev to protect the city from the advancing Nazi forces. In Tatarstan, they couldn’t find any housing, so they dug a large pit and that became their home.
They lived with unmanageable hunger through the freezing winter. Consumed by thoughts of food, they used what they could find, like leaves, to make soup. Living in these conditions made them sick. By some miracle they survived and in 1943, returned to Kiev after it was liberated. Elena’s mother found work in a military hospital, and the children stayed home alone, still plagued by hunger. Elena remembers walking down the street to a nearby cemetery and begging for food from people passing by.
Today, Elena lives alone in Jerusalem, after she lost her husband several years ago. She joined the Knitting Workshop at Yad LaKashish in 2011. The monthly financial help offered ensures she can buy basic necessities, enabling her to live her most senior years with dignity.
However, the pandemic means that Elena now spends days at home alone. She sews, reads, watches movies, and talks to friends and her grandchildren on the phone. But, like so many of us, Elena looks forward to being back to normal life at Yad LaKashish, to work and to be with friends, and we couldn’t agree more.