|A photo of Alexander and his wife, Yivginya, (left) taken in 1955.
BET SHEMESH, Israel – At ten years old, Alexander had already witnessed more horrors than most can imagine.
As a child and Russian Jew, he and his family were forced to live in a ghetto in Ukraine where his father was soon killed. It wasn’t long after that he and his mother were moved to a concentration camp and separated from each other—the last time he would ever see his mother alive.
At age ten, Alexander made a daring and brave choice—he escaped from the camp and began to run.
He eventually ran into the Russian Army, who placed him in an orphanage where he lived for a year before several family members found him and brought him home.
Today, Alexander and other Holocaust survivors are no longer imprisoned by barbed wire fences, but many still live under the weight of poverty.
|Thanks to OB Israel’s Holocaust program, families like Alexander and Yivginya's are provided with food, care and other assistance.
Alexander and his wife of more than 50 years, Yivginya, live in a small, one-bedroom apartment in Israel. They rely on their pension and medical insurance to provide for their needs, but it is never quite enough to make ends meet.
In fact, one third of Holocaust survivors living in Israel are poor. But through Operation Blessing’s Adopt a Holocaust Survivor program, families like Alexander and Yivginya’s are provided with much-needed support.
“OB Israel provides monthly support to ensure that these elderly people receive food, medication, and other basic needs,” said Charmaine Hedding, OB Israel’s director. “Many survivors live on a minimal government pension, forcing them to choose between some of these essential items, and they often suffer from poor health due to time spent in the camps or ghettos.”
Depending on the needs and preference of the survivors, families can choose to receive help toward their groceries, a caregiver to assist in the home, or assistance with items like glasses or hearing aids.
For Alexander and his wife, having the grocery support is a tremendous help.
“I buy things that I could not normally afford such as meat, oil, sugar and other items that can last us for a month,” Yivginya said. “Every little bit helps…we are thankful to know that someone is there to help us at this time.”
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