Your Generosity Makes a Meaningful Difference

elderly woman wearing multiple layers of clothes, blue sweatshirt, yellow shirt
© 2021 IFCJ

Nina was born in 1936 in the Rostov region of Ukraine. She survived the Nazi occupation as a child and has lived in Kiev since the Holocaust ended. Nina graduated from medical school and worked for many years as a pathologist. But a professional career in the Soviet Union could not protect her from poverty.

Today, Nina lives alone and is completely blind. She cannot leave her home and is completely dependent on a son for all her needs.

When Yael Eckstein visited Nina in January 2020, the only food to be found in the elderly woman’s apartment consisted of a few rotten potatoes. The food package Yael brought her was indeed a gift that arrived at just the right time.

“I lost my beloved husband 15 years ago,” Nina told Yael. “We had a wonderful life together. Three years ago, I was still working in the clinic when I began to feel that I was losing my vision. I had to quit my job and little by little, I lost all of my eyesight. Now I cannot see a thing.”

When Yael asked Nina how she can live alone while being blind, she responded, “I have been living in this apartment since the 1960s so I just remember. My legs and my hands remember the apartment and I get along. Still, it is very difficult. What other choice do I have? This is my life now and I have to adjust to the situation.”

Unfortunately, Nina’s situation is all too common among elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union. In Soviet-era Ukraine, years of working, no matter what work you did, didn’t guarantee financial security.

Through your monthly support, The Fellowship is able to bring regular food packages and cooked meals to Nina and the thousands of other elderly Holocaust survivors in Ukraine. Your generosity makes a meaningful difference in their remaining years.

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