A Lifetime of Loneliness

The Fellowship  |  February 23, 2022

Marfa, an elderly Holocaust survivor who has spent a lifetime alone in rural Ukraine
(Photo: IFCJ)

While many of the Jewish elderly who depend on The Fellowship for lifesaving aid and loving companionship, as well, their loneliness only arrived in their twilight years. But for Marfa, her entire lifetime has been one of loneliness.

First, when the Nazis invaded Ukraine during World War II, young Marfa witnessed horrific things that no one, especially not a young child, should ever witness. Those memories of the Holocaust have stayed with this precious Jewish woman for decades, even if the Holocaust robbed her of loved ones and left her to a lifetime alone.

Even when Marfa had two sons, life remained hard. One son lives far away in Lithuania, unable to visit his elderly mother, especially during the global pandemic. Marfa’s other son, injured while serving in the Ukrainian military many years ago, has been hospitalized ever since. After this trauma, Marfa had a breakdown and hasn’t been the same since.

With old age slowing her down and causing her physical pain, and decades of trauma crippling her emotionally, Marfa would not have survived much longer, all alone in her small shack in rural Ukraine. But then The Fellowship began to bring food and friendship to this sweet survivor of so much. And Marfa knows she will not only have what she needs to keep surviving, but to no longer feel so alone.

The Fellowship has been providing food, medicine, heat, basic needs, and aliyah to Jews in need in the former Soviet Union for over 30 years, and we’re prepared for any situation the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in that region may face. Help support vulnerable Jews with your gift of love and comfort today.

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