Helping Serafima Survive

The Fellowship  |  July 24, 2023

Serafima, elderly Jewish woman in Moldova who survived the Holocaust, with a Fellowship volunteer
(Photo: JDC)

Just a small child when the Nazis overran her hometown, Serafima fled in the arms of her mother as the bombs fell. Her father conscripted into the war effort, the girl survived the Holocaust in Kazakhstan with her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Serafima remembers little of those years, but the hunger and lack of medical care suffered during that time still effects this precious elderly Jewish woman’s health.

When the family returned after liberation, they found that Serafima’s father had survived those years on the frontlines. Having found a bombed-out home in their hometown of Chisinau and made it inhabitable, Serafima’s father welcomed home the daughter who barely remembered him.

It was there, in that warm and loving home, where Serafima’s family prayed for the memories of the many family members who did not survive the Holocaust. And it was there where Serafima’s mother taught the girl to sew.

Serafima worked in a Soviet sewing factory for her entire adult life—work she did well and was proud of, but which left her with nothing in her golden years. But even with little money, and her health failing, Serafima and her beloved husband volunteered for years with Fellowship programs which help those like themselves—Holocaust survivors with little food and little hope. Delivering food and medications to people who needed them, Serafima humbly brushes off her actions, saying, “I was just interested in helping others.”

But now widowed and facing mounting health problems herself, Serafima has come to depend on The Fellowship to help her—providing regular food deliveries, as well as special food boxes on Jewish holidays. After a recent visit from Fellowship volunteers—people of faith doing the holy work she once did—Serafima said, “I don’t know how I would survive without your support. You really do such a great job.”

Your prayerful support—along with your best gift today—will provide life-giving necessities like food and medicine for elderly Jewish people, many of them Holocaust survivors like Serafima.

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