Riva Samuilovna Shimenchik, born on August 22, 1926, Minsk, Kalinovskogo 70-173, 263-95-37. Lives alone, the only income is a pension, which does not allow enough to buy food and groceries. The only help that I receive is soup kitchen hot meals, I am very thankful for it and hope that they will increase the number of days - instead of 3 times a week to feed us every day - this will help to survive!
Anna Lvovna Botvinnik, born in 1931, 227-93-30, Minsk, Partizansky avenue, 9-38. Live''s with daughter and 2 grandsons, pension is very small, the daughter works as cleaning lady sweeping floors, her salary is not enough to support herself and children. Our living conditions are very difficult, receive help from nowhere and no one, the hot meals in our soup kitchen help us greatly, they are very necessary to help save our family. Would like to see soup kitchen working every day of the week, please. Myself and my family are very appreciative of the help given to us, and allowing us to survive in these difficult times. We thank Tatiana and those people that make it possible and service us in the soup kitchen!
My name is Roman Iosifovich Slutskin, I am Jewish. Was born in 1957. I am not working anywhere, because I have no place to live and here it is a law to have a registration before one can apply for job. Right now I live in the building of a Minsk synagogue, my living and life conditions are very difficult and the meals in our soup kitchen are helping me to live - please continue doing such a noble task. Thank you!
Nelli Grigorievna Pitertseva, I am halahicly Jewish, (mother was Jewish), I was born in 1940, a veteran of labor, was working for 36 years, have a sugar diabetes, my pension is now 72.000 Belarus rubles, which is around 40 dollars, we have to split it for 3 people - myself, my daughter who studies now and my son, he is now in military prison. He has 3 more years to be there, we are very much dependable of the soup kitchen, if not for it, then myself and my daughter would have no way to exist, these hot meals 3 times a week really help us make it thru a week. We all, pensioners, love this soup kitchen very much, the food there is always good, the place is clean and bright, and the treatment we receive from the people that service us there, especially Tatiana, is excellent. We always receive there encouragement and kind words, and if we had this soup kitchen every day, this would be like a fairy tale!
While visiting our homes for holocaust survivors in Israel, a man came up to us and started hugging and kissing us. I asked my co-worker who this guy was.
He said, "Don''t you remember Joseph?"
I said, "We have met over 100 Josephs. Which Joseph is this?"
"He said Joseph from Belz."
Joseph is a man we met in Ukraine several years ago. He was living in terrible conditions there. He had both legs amputated, had no teeth, and was living on the potatoes we were bringing him. His apartment was a dirty run down hole in the wall kind of place. The government had given him prosthetic legs, but he was unable to use them because they didn''t fit right. He had false teeth that also didn''t fit. He had no family. Everyone he loved perished in the holocaust.
A person like Joseph is normally not approved to move to Israel, because he is elderly, has no one he can live with, will not be able to learn enough Hebrew to communicate with people and would not be able to survive on the amount of income he would get from the government. Because we could receive him into one of our homes, it was possible for him to come. When he arrived in Israel, he had access to the medical system, and he was fitted with custom made prosthetic legs, and he was able to walk. He was fitted for dentures, and is now able to eat normal meals. In our houses, he was able to have a private bedroom, and can work in his part of the garden. He gets a hot meal every day, and can socialize with other residents. It was as if he had his life back. When he saw us, he couldn''t stop hugging and kissing us. He said, "It''s like I''m in paradise." I honestly left there crying. I felt that if we never do another good thing in our lives, we have done something good here.
Each house houses eight or nine residents and costs us about $2000.00 a month to operate over and above the money we get from the residents. Our goal is to have 100 of these houses. It is our hope that some would get behind this project financially so we can realize our goal of 100 houses.
I met Naphtali while he was selling matches and shoelaces on the steps of a building in a small mountain village in Azerbaijan.