The Doll Maker’s Hands

The Fellowship  |  September 12, 2022

Elderly Jewish woman holds pomegranates in her hands from High Holy Days food box
(Photo: Victor Adjamsky/FJC)

Her hands, now twisted with arthritis, still work diligently for several hours a day.

Her fingers thread the needle with care, as her eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

Klara brings another doll to life, adding flushed cheeks with some pink thread, twisting brown threads into a small braid on the doll’s head. 

The dolls made by this elderly Jewish woman in the former Soviet Union (FSU) are donated to children with disabilities within the Jewish community.

Klara used to visit some of the children herself and hand them her handmade dolls. These days, sheisn’t able to get out much. But making the dolls brings Klara so much joy that the volunteers who now give out the dolls send her pictures of the children holding the beloved toys. These pictures are pasted to Klara’s wall, and she often looks at the children’s smiling faces. 

These small bits of hope are needed for this sweet woman living in the tumultuous FSU. Her meager pension doesn’t even cover her basic needs. So the food packages and medications that Fellowship friends now help provide are not only hope-giving, but lifesaving.

As Fellowship volunteers arrive with a food box for the High Holy Days, Klara’s face lights up. “I love the visits from Fellowship representatives. They take so much interest in my life and love to see my dolls in progress,” she says. “The food and medicine that they bring me help me out so much. Thank you for taking such interest in my life and showing me love and care.”

This High Holy Days season, you can bring hopeful smiles and lifesaving help to Jewish people like Klara.