A Second Chance



As war has gripped her native country Ukraine, Lenina reflects back on her hard life. At 84 years of age, she survived not only the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis, but the Soviets’ communist rule as well. These cruel eras not only took away faith traditions from Jews in Ukraine, but took their lives, as well.

However, Lenina survived the Holocaust. And she survived to see the Soviet Union fall. Through it all, she preserved her faith, celebrating the Jewish traditions and holidays during dangerous times. In her old age, she continues to grow in faith all while being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lenina has continued to give back to the local Jewish community in Ukraine. “I taught math to children even in my older years. I enjoy seeing their young minds discover new skills and the joy on their faces when they succeed. That was all taken from me with the onset of the pandemic.”

After surviving so much, Lenina nearly did not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. For two months Lenina was hospitalized, fighting for her life. She survived and returned home, but the damage of the virus will impact her for years to come. Her lungs have been badly damaged, she has terrible inflammation of the joints, and was left significantly weaker than she was before. Yet Lenina is deeply grateful, “I feel like I have been given a second chance at life.”

Elderly Jews in Ukraine like Lenina have endured many hardships; and now as war has returned to the region, these same people are at risk, again.

With IFCJ Canada, you can provide for a Jewish person in Ukraine like Lenina with food and medical assistance.

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