A Lifetime of Sad Stories


Tova, a sad and blind Holocaust survivor in Israel with High Holy Days food box
(Photo: Arik Shraga)

Tova’s face tells so many stories. So many sad stories. This precious Jewish woman in her 90s has so many sad stories to tell.

Just 13 when World War II broke out, Tova found herself among the many Ukrainian Jews sent to concentration camps, first in Pechery, then in Auschwitz. Unlike so many millions of Europe’s Jews, Tova survived.

“Death was all around,” she says. “I survived only because someone pushed me into a pit full of dead bodies. My sister was burned alive right before my eyes. My parents were killed. I was left all alone, without anything.”

And now, eight decades later, Tova is still all alone. Completely blind in her old age, she has been widowed for more than twenty years. And while she and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), their children remained in Europe. There, Tova’s son battles cancer, unable to help his mother in the Holy Land.

But Tova is not alone, because of Fellowship friends like you. Now each room in Tova’s small two-room apartment has a heater. And now the plywood she slept on, calling it her bed, is being replaced with a new comfortable bed to sleep on.

“I celebrate Shabbat alone,” Tova said when we first visited her, “and I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah alone, as well.”

But this Rosh Hashanah, Tova was not alone. Fellowship volunteers not only brought her a box of fresh, nutritious food so she could celebrate the New Year, they brought her care and companionship that will at last allow this sweet woman’s face to tell a happy story.

With The Fellowship, you can provide help and hope for needy Holocaust survivors and elderly Jews like Tova during the High Holy Days.

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