Pearl was living with her daughter and son-in-law in Israel when a tragic car accident took both of their lives. Not having any family left in Israel, Pearl’s 25 year old grandson sponsored her to come to Canada. Once here, she was only able to afford to live in subsidized housing and sought the help of JF&CS.
Through our Multilingual Access Program (MAP), we connected Pearl with a volunteer translator who spoke Russian and could help her apply for the Ontario Disability Support Program for income assistance. Pearl was so grateful for our assistance that she brought our staff a beautiful chocolate assortment a few weeks later on Rosh Hashana.
Our relationship with Pearl continued when we learned that she had survived the Holocaust. We knew that we would be able to help her with our Holocaust Survivor Emergency Funding and it was our pleasure to do so. Over the course of seven years, we helped Pearl with the purchase of a hearing aid, prescription medication, a wheelchair and even emergency dental work, and every year at Rosh Hashanah, Pearl brought us chocolates.
All of our regular MAP volunteers got to know and adore Pearl and some even went above and beyond to see that she wasn’t lonely or isolated. One afternoon, Pearl cancelled an appointment she had with one of our translators, Irina, because she had come down with a cold. Irina drove over to Pearl’s apartment anyway with chicken soup and matzo balls and joined her for lunch and an afternoon of chatting.
This past year, Pearl’s grandson (now married with children) spoke to us about purchasing a hospital bed for Pearl’s apartment and we were able to help.
When Rosh Hashanah came and no chocolates arrived, we knew Pearl had passed away but we were proud to have been able to help and enrich the life of such a kind, generous woman who not only survived the Holocaust, but lived to 101.
*Names, photos and certain identifying features have been changed in order to protect the anonymity of our clients.