A Real Holiday

The Fellowship  |  September 4, 2023

Jasmina, an elderly Holocaust survivor from Ukraine, receives holiday food box from The Fellowship
(Photo: Eran Boker)

“When WWII began, my father was killed during the first days.” So remembers 85-year-old Jasmina, a Jewish woman born in Ukraine. “He was working on a construction site that was bombed. All the people there were buried under the ruined building.”

Suddenly a 22-year-old widow, Jasmina’s young mother was thrust into survival mode, caring for her two small children as the Nazis advanced.

Jasmina remembers the young family fleeing on a train.

She remembers the train being bombed: “Just a little girl, I saw awful scenes caused by the wave of explosions. I remember it still today.”

Jasmina also remembers being so thirsty that they were forced to drink from dirty puddles. “My mother tried to filter the water for me. However, I became sick because of this water. One man on the train told my mother to leave me outside because it didn’t seem likely I could live any longer.”

But Jasmina’s mother cared for the girl, and Jasmina survived. But the family continued to starve. For four long years they had little to eat. Jasmina remembers her mother praying that a bomb might fall and put them out of their misery. But then a miracle occurred.

“One day, a military man brought us a loaf of bread, a bottle of sunflower oil, and three potatoes,” Jasmina recalls. “It was a real holiday! I ran outside, danced, and cried, ‘We have three potatoes!’ I don’t know how, but we survived.”

And it is because of miracles that Jasmina still survives—each and every day depending on help from faithful Fellowship friends, who provide her with regular food deliveries, as well as foods for the upcoming High Holy Days.

Your gift means that Holocaust survivors like Jasmina have nutritious food each day, as well as the essentials to celebrate God’s miracles during the upcoming holy season.