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Dec 01 2012

Chevra Report December 2012

2012-12dChevra is an under-funded ministry. By this I mean that we have many wonderful projects whereby we can help people, but we don’t have enough funds to make them all happen. We always need increased funds because the needs are so great, but the good news is that we are doing all that we can. As this report comes to you at the end of the year, I am thankful for all of you who pray for us and support our work. Our Israel container project is going well, and we are also increasing our project work in Ukraine. I can’t begin to tell you how much your support does for our people in Eastern Europe and Israel. As winter approaches, we brace ourselves for helping the needy, because winters are especially severe in Eastern Europe and we try to do as much as we can. If you are able to give a generous gift this season, we would be grateful, and it will do a lot to help the holocaust survivors and other Jewish poor we try to help.

Frequently, people ask how they can help. There are several ways you can help. First, we genuinely need your prayers for the wellbeing of our workers, and the wellbeing of the people we try to help. Prayers may not pay the bills, but they certainly safeguard us as we work.

Second, we do need your financial support. Without financial support, we have nothing with which to help people. The more funds we have, the more good we can do. If you can give, please give generously. If you can’t, please pray that funding will come in for our work.

Thirdly, you can help by inviting me to speak to your congregation or other group interested in hearing about our work. I would be more than happy to come and share what we are doing, and make friends for our work. Please contact me at if you are interested.

Thank you all again for your help, and God bless you all,

Michael Schiffman, Chevra USA


Israel Container Project

We have shipped our second container, and are getting ready to send the third now. We give these containers to local humanitarian works in Israel, working with holocaust survivors, handicapped, single mothers, and other poor in the Land. Since we purchase the containers, we can keep them stocked as mini—distribution centers which we replenish regularly. We are hoping to send more containers by the end of the year. Here is the report from Israel:

We have found a home for this container—it will serve one of the Netanya aid centers, who serves first of all, Holocaust Survivors, but also needy people of all types in Netanya. This container will sit on an unused plot in a moshav, and we will load the items into the container for that aid center, and the manager will come with his car to take the items each week for the weekly distribution. Items that he cannot fit into his car we will bring to him in our truck from his container. The container plot will be for free.

So you see, your gift container will bear much fruit. May the Lord bless you for the blessings you have given to Israel.

Report from Ukraine


In the small town of Kiev (Borispil) we visited the local small Jewish community.

Galina is an 84-year-old Jewish lady (photo 1), alone after surgery for cancer of the stomach (needs medication rather finance for it). Her family survived the war in the evacuation in Khabarovsk in the far east of the former Soviet Union. Galina remained alone as a 14-year-old girl with her stepfather and aunt, miraculously avoiding being shot in the Ukraine.

She survived by hiding in a pigsty, a forest and fleeing from the Nazis. Today, she lives modestly in a small apartment. For many years after the war she was mentally broken, unable to cope at school, but in the end she was able to finish university.

Galina suffered a failed marriage a few years later, when he learned about the fact that she is a Jew, which haunted her after they divorced (the husband was an anti-Semite).

She is very kind and lovely person who always treats us very well, and we feel like family. Please pray for her health


Rosa, 90 years old (photo 2), underwent evacuation from Stalingrad, which was one of the toughest in the central part of the Soviet Union. Her husband was Jewish, and all her life she worked as a bookkeeper.

Today they have poor lives with her only son Mikhail, 49 years old.

They live in an old family house that they found had been taken over by the Ukrainians when they returned home, and now it requires a major overhaul. Misha is not able to work and he lives there on one pension of $100 a month because of her mother, which in Ukraine are the smallest amount of money on which two people can survive.

A mom and her son (photo 3), living alone, and the mother is part of the messianic congregation. The boy is mentally retarded, but very capable. They live in very difficult conditions.

Betia was abandoned by her husband (who tormented her and her son) but gets help from the messianic congregation and worked there in the kitchen, preparing meals for the poor Jewish people. The congregation is a second home for her and supports her, and she found there her Messiah of Israel


Elena, 75 years old, and Vladimir, 76 years old (photo 4) – They have a small retirement. Vladimir is recovering from surgery and 50 percent of their pension goes to buy medicine. They were volunteers and helped with Israel and the Jewish community but today they need help.

They survived the evacuation of the Volga (Samara). Elena is a doctor and her husband an electrical engineer.

Jan Kasharowski, 71 years old (photo 5). He was born in the Leningrad blockade. They were evacuated and escaped to Siberia.

After the war he returned with all his family to Leningrad, starting a new life in a oneroom apartment, living with six other people. The grandfather was his only remaining family, and was the one who had work.

Jan was frostbitten during the evacuation and barely resuscitated. He lay unconscious for 20 days. Today he is alone and lives on a small pension, without the means to cure muscular dystrophy and heart disease, and does not have anyone to whom he could turn for help, except us.

We were fifteen people from different churches, communities and the countries Belarus, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, USA, Jews and non-Jews. During the eight days we have been visiting Jewish people and we supported materially and spiritually. Such as:

2012-12ePetya Davidovich, 89 years old (photo 6) – He had been in the Red Army from 1942 to 1947, He Had born in Smela, only he and his sister survived from the family. Parents were in evcuation … He liberated the Majdanek concentration camp, among others.

Today, he is not complaining about life, he has a good sense of humor and is full of gratitude for the visit and support by us.

Ida Mojsiejewna, 81 years old (photo 7) – Ida survived thanks to the evacuation in Tashkent, and does not operate fully because she recently broke her leg and can not walk. Her family was wiped out by the Nazis, dad was in a front and died there.

She remembers horrifying evacuations, and she escaped and survived, then was dependent on her mother, who worked as the only one in the family. Ida suffered from malaria, and miraculously survived. She lived alone.

She worked at the factory and did not have children, and she is a lonely widow. She gave us a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere, in a clean apartment.

Valentina, 71 years old (photos 8 and 9) – As a nine-month-old baby, Valentina was raised by her mother in the ghetto. After that she was raised by his grandparents, his father's parents. Her mother ran away and never came back—disappeared without a trace. She was looking for her parents but did not find them. She married and has two children. After family problems, she again began to look for her relatives. She made contact with her brother; it was miracle.

Finally she could see her mother in the pictures. To this day, she keeps contact with one brother in Dnepropetrovsk and the second in Azerbaijan. She is a joyful woman.

She specially baked us a cake and tea, and treated the whole group with apples from her garden. Her story made a big impression on us, detected by the fact we were able to get a feel for a moment on that extraordinary story.

We met an amazing Jewish writer, Tatiana Kaplun, and her husband Michail. They came from Israel after ten years of living there, saying that the hot climate did not favor them. Their children are in Canada.

They were the first ship passengers of Gustav Sheler’s Ship from Odessa.

During the evacuation time, their family escaped and thanks to that they survived the war. We sang at home and listened to poems and stories by Tatiana. The table was covered with goodies and food, and we felt honored by their warm welcome.

A single mother (photo 9) raising a daughter, lived not so far from the Korsun. They waited for us for 2012-12fa long time because we were late in the evening, and they welcomed us full of respect and kindness. We were sitting around a table and eating and smiling.

Mom, a teacher, and daughter, who is a good student, made us feel us at home.

We are not able to write everything, but we have tried to support with medicines, prayers, packages, morally, materially, with singing, cleaning cemeteries, being with those who have gone through evacuations and war, the poor, orphans and the old and lonely.

Being there and celebrating Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) with Jewish society, a leader of the community of Korsun called us his brothers and gave us the certification of honorary memberships of the Jewish community in Korsun. We have been pleasantly delighted and proud of that.




Chevra means friendship. Our goal is to  help our people in their time of need.


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