Israel Gives Her Strength

The Fellowship  |  February 15, 2024

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(Photo: Diego Galperin)

Prior to World War II, the Soviets began a campaign against Jews in Russia, and both of Leah’s parents were arrested as traitors and sent to detention camps. Young Leah and her two brothers were sent to orphanages, where one of her brothers fell ill with tuberculosis and passed away.

When WWII did begin, Leah’s uncle came to pick her up from the orphanage and they evacuated along with Leah’s grandmother to Kazakhstan.

Leah remembers missing her parents, feeling so alone, and the extreme hunger of the war years. “I remember that at the end of the war, a soldier let me eat a simple roll. I bit into the roll and thought to myself that this is the most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten,” she says.

“Life got a little better when the war ended. I was able to reunite with my brother and mother,” she says, explaining that the charges were dropped against her parents.

After the war, Leah worked as a physics teacher for 33 years. “All my life I have felt the anti-Semitism in my bones,” she says of those years. Then Leah at last made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), and for the first time, she felt at home. “I love Israel, and especially Jerusalem. This city gives me strength,” she says.

But war has come to Israel, and it does worry Leah, but this faithful woman puts her trust in God, saying, “War is a terrible thing. There were two alarms in Jerusalem. I went out to the stairwell, and I was very worried. I kept thinking to myself how people who are close to Gaza live under such a constant threat. I was standing in a stairwell during an alarm, and I felt that everything was is in God’s hands. I believed that because we are in Jerusalem everything will be okay.”

She also knows her life will be alright thanks to The Fellowship. We bring her winter assistance, and she is a regular beneficiary of one of our soup kitchens. “The Fellowship makes sure I will never suffer from hunger again,” Leah says. “I also thank you very much for the warm blanket you brought me and the tea kettle. This evening, I will make hot tea and wrap myself in the blanket. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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