Hope for Better Days

The Fellowship  |  January 18, 2024

food box, elderly, Hanukkah, poverty
(Photo: Ancho Gosh)

Yolanda is a Holocaust survivor who survived the Libyan Jewish Holocaust. She says of her experience, “Libyan Jews suffered a lot during World War II. All the Jews were expelled from institutes of higher education. All the Jews who worked in government offices were fired, and all synagogues were closed. With the outbreak of the war, some of the Libyan Jews were put in the ghetto,” she explains.

Just a baby, her parents hid her, along with her brother, in a basement for almost two years until the British forces captured Libya. “My mother told me that it smelled like mold, and it was very dark. It was difficult to get food and we drank rainwater that dripped through the ceiling.”

After the war was over, her family still lived through a pogrom where they witnessed hundreds of Jews murdered and synagogues burned down. This is why her family was one of the first to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) once the state of Israel was founded.

Today, Yolanda feels blessed to be in her homeland. And even more blessed to have the help and care of Fellowship friends around the world as she battles kidney disease in her old age.

“I can’t leave the apartment. I receive food packages directly to my home. I feel that there are people who care about me and who call to ask how I am. This concern helps me feel better,” says Yolanda.

And as Israel faces the tragedy of October 7, she’s so grateful to all those who stand with Israel and strongly stand against any anti-Semitism today that threatens the Jewish people. “This year I pray … that all our hostages held by Hamas will be released, and I pray for the safety of all the soldiers. I worry a lot about my grandchildren who are serving in the IDF. I hold my book of Psalms and pray that everyone returns home safe and sound.

“I am very grateful to The Fellowship for the support and concern during days like this, you give me strength and hope for better days.”  

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