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‘Among them will be the Blind’

editor - 21 October 2019

We met Alexander and Valentina Fuhrman through the Rabbi of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. The rabbi told us that Alexander and Valentina had fled Donetsk and rented a small room close to the synagogue. Every day Alexander faithfully came to the synagogue for prayer before the couple left for Israel.

In August, Alexander and Valentina went to Haifa, where their daughter lives. Alina (another Aliyah fieldworker) and I visited the couple in Mariupol before they made Aliyah. They lived in a small, dilapidated room. The sparse furnishings were not their own, but belonged to the landlord.

History of Mother Nina
Alexander was born in December 1952 in Donetsk, the city that now lies in the separatist area. Alexander never knew his father and did not know where he was. His mother Nina was a Jewish woman. She was 14 years old when the war began. During the war, Nina and her whole family were loaded into trucks. They were taken from Donetsk to be killed in another place. Nina managed to jump out of the truck. Eventually she ended up in a village where local people hid her. After the war she discovered that her whole family had been killed. She was the only survivor.

Alexander was two years old when his mother remarried. His mother started working as a tram driver. Because she had to work and had no family to help, she could not take care of Alexander. She took him to a boarding school, but every weekend she picked him up. Alexander has good memories of his mother and stepfather. Nina passed away two years ago.

Close to our Children
Alexander became visually handicapped because of an accident and also arthritis. He is practically blind and can only see silhouettes. Alexander and Valentina have two daughters. One daughter lives in Belarus, the other in Haifa, Israel. To be with the children, Alexander and Valentina decided to go to Israel as well. This process happens often in Ukraine: first the children go, and then the parents follow. Their daughter invited them to come and live with her in Haifa for the first period. She is an accountant and is busy learning Hebrew. She is delighted with her life in Israel. The other daughter is now also considering going to Israel.

Help the Jews come home!
Please support our action ‘Bring the Jews Home’.
It costs 135 euros or 165 US $ to assist one Ukrainian Jew for making aliyah.
Any amount is welcome!

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